MPSC issues annual video services competition report
February 1, 2017
Contact: Judy Palnau, 517-284-8300
Agency: Michigan Public Service Commission
LANSING, Mich. –
The Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) today issued its annual report on the status of competition for video services in Michigan. The report is required by the Uniform Video Services Local Franchise Act (Public Act 480 of 2006), which gives the MPSC the responsibility to handle cable inquiries and complaints.
Highlights of the report include:
Governor Snyder signed Senate Bill 1087 on Jan. 3, which created a permanent funding solution for the MPSC to resume handling video/cable complaints.
Providers have reported a continued increase in competitors entering their franchise areas. Prior to the act, providers reported having one competitor in 76 franchise areas, two competitors in 58 franchise areas, and three competitors in three franchise areas. At the end of 2016, providers reported having one competitor in 599 franchise areas, two competitors in 199 franchise areas and three competitors in five franchise areas.
In 2016, Michigan had a total of 38 video/cable providers, compared to 43 in 2015.
There are 2,045 franchise agreements in Michigan, an increase of six from 2015.
During 2016, a total of 2,172,891 video/cable customers were reported for Michigan, a decrease of 178,080 customers compared to the number reported in 2015.
The MPSC received 393 video/cable customer complaints and inquiries from July 1 to Dec. 31, 2016. The most frequent complaint categories were: billing charges, cable line issues, equipment service problem and other issues.
Twenty-five of the 38 video/cable providers reported investing over $120 million in the Michigan video/cable market during 2016 and over $3.1 billion since the act took effect.
Video/cable providers reported creating 240 new jobs in Michigan during 2016.
The MPSC made three recommendations to the Michigan legislature: extending the due date of the MPSC’s annual report to March 1 from Feb. 1 to provide survey respondents more time to provide information to the MPSC; requiring providers to provide certain contact information to the MPSC; and requiring a provider to notify the MPSC if it changes its name, goes out of business, or merges with another company.
The entire report is available on the MPSC’s website.
For more information on filing a video/cable complaint, see the MPSC’s Consumer Tips sheets on the subject.