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TV providers asked to stop charging customers for live sports

New York Attorney General Letitia James sent her request to companies including AT&T, Comcast and Dish.

Comcast and six other companies are being called on to cut fees for live sports. 
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New York Attorney General Letitia James on Wednesday asked seven cable and satellite TV providers to cut or eliminate fees linked to live sports amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Companies are continuing to charge customers for live sports programming, despite the fact that events in the US have been canceled for several weeks and will remain that way for the foreseeable future. 

James wrote to companies including AT&T, Comcast, Dish and Verizon, asking them to "immediately prepare and provide plans to the Attorney General's Office for how they will provide financial relief to consumers until live sports programming is resumed."

Cable and satellite TV subscribers pay as much as $20 a month extra for access to live sports events and continue to be charged the same amounts despite event cancellations, James notes. 

Read more: Here are 7 'sports' to watch while real, live sports are on hiatus

"At a time when so many New Yorkers have lost their jobs and are struggling, it is grossly unfair that cable and satellite television providers would continue to charge fees for services they are not even providing," James said in a statement. "These companies must step up and immediately propose plans to cut charges and provide much needed financial relief." 

In her letter, James asked the companies to provide a plan for "appropriate refunds, discounts and reductions of charges and fees, payment deferrals, and waiver of termination fees, at least until live sports programming is resumed."

More than 1.2 million people in New York have lost their jobs as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, the attorney general's office says. Many others are also facing financial challenges as the economy struggles.