The FCC has approved its schedule for collecting $322,035,000 in regulatory fees--over a third of which ($113.22 million) it will be collecting from cable, satellite and broadcast licensees--and it includes another increase for DBS and a new calculation method for TV stations.

The FCC pays for itself through the fees it charges regulated entities, including broadcasters, cable and satellite operators, according to how many full time FCC employees (FTEs) it takes to regulate them. The $62.33 million of that collected from cable systems, IPTV providers and DBS will be more evenly divided as the FCC raises the DBS portion to closer to that of other MVPDS. All fees are due next month.

Satellite broadcasters used to be assessed a smaller, per-license fee, but the FCC several years ago changed that to the same per-sub fee basis it uses for cable and IPTV, and began lowering cable fees and raising satellite.

That per-sub satellite fee began at 12 cents per sub, but the FCC has been raising it annually to move closer to the cable/IPTV rate, increasing it to 27 cents, 38 cents and for 2018, 48 cents, while it lowered cable's fee.

The 2018 figures for cable and IPTV for 2018 is 77 cents per sub per year, while the DBS rate is 48 cents. In 2017, cable ops were still paying 150% more per subscriber than satellite-TV providers -- 96 cents versus 38 cents.

DirecTV owner AT&T and Dish had asked for no increase, while cable operators had argued that the FCC should move immediately to parity. The FCC, instead, decided to stay the course and continue the phased increases.

On the broadcast side, the FCC has decided to assess TV station fees on a station's signal contours --the population its signal actually reaches--rather than on the population of the entire DMA in which it is licensed. While the FCC bases fees on the number of FTEs, it has different levels of fees depending on market size.
Note this policy will start in 2019 according to this article.