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Last week we informed you of a four point four percent increase in electricity bill. However, that is not the only bill that Belizeans will find themselves paying more for. Next month cable bill is also expected to increase. The new change has come about due to Belize Cable Television Operators Association (BCTVOA) entering into a copyright licensing agreements with programmers for authorized feeds, content and special add-ons. The announcement was made via a release from the BCTVOA which stated that the cable operators have agreed that the new rate is sixty dollars which is inclusive of General Sales Tax. The release added that with the new rate customers will get to enjoy at least eighty channels. The operators say with the increase customers can expect to see an improvement in the quality of the cable service delivery through improved technology and exciting digital features. The licensing agreement puts an end to Belize's signal piracy and as such improves Belize's reputation globally.



Your Cable Bill Is Going Up

For weeks we've been warning you that there's going to be changes with your cable television service. And it looks like it's here: fewer channels for more money - and it takes effect within 15 days. 7News has received a press release from the Belize Cable Television Operators Association which says that they propose to offer a basic package of 80 channels or $60.00 dollars.
That's up 33% from what most people currently pay: $45.00 for over two hundred channels. And those two hundred channels presently include HBO, STARZ, SHOWTIME - and all those - which are called premium channels. Well, not anymore. As we understand it - those are not included in this basic package. For those channels you'd have to upgrade to a premium package for more money. The details on that haven't been released.

Now while you may still be scratching your head, the release says, quote: "This increase will come into effect as of June 1, 2018." Simple as that. Of course, it's not quite that simple since the terms and conditions of cable operators licenses say that the Broadcasting Authority is the one to set the rate, not the operators. But, this release went out on Friday and the Broadcasting Authority still hasn't said anything to indicate if it plans to approve or block the rate increase.

As we've reported, this increase is being driven by demands for payment from the international owners of the cable channels which are currently being pirated. The release adds, quote, "The BCTVOA has been entering copyright licensing agreements with programmers for authorized feeds´┐ŻAlthough the licensed content from programmers comes at an added cost to the cable operators and the subscribers, the cost of maintaining the status quo would be much greater to the country as a whole.,,,Impending copyright licensing agreements are an added cost which, unfortunately, brings cable operators to the absolute threshold of what can be absorbed by their businesses."

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