Is Sharing Cable Television Legal?

Cable television can be extremely expensive leaving some Utah residents to wonder if sharing the service and cost with a neighbor is legal.

Cable television cost

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Many Utah residents begin cable television services as part of a special, low-price promotion only to see prices skyrocket at the end of promotional period. When this happens, residents may be locked in for an extended period of time or not wanting to continue under the new inflated price. Some choose to either shop around for other prices and risk paying early termination fees or remove cable television services altogether.

Cable sharing

There are those residents who don’t want to terminate cable television but are also unwilling to pay the full price of the service. This could lead to individuals looking for shortcuts on how to save their cable along with their wallets. One of the options possibly sought after is sharing cable television and the cost with a neighbor. What many do not realize however, is that even if both neighbors agree to the arrangement it is still illegal. If cable television customers pay special attention to the contract they signed prior to services, they will usually note that sharing services is prohibited. Ignoring this stipulation could result in criminal charges.

Theft of cable television services

Utah code 76-6-409.3 states, “A person is guilty of theft of (…) cable television service if the person commits any prohibited acts which make (…) cable television available to a tenant or occupant, including himself [or a neighbor] with intent to avoid due payment to the (…) cable television company.” Depending on how long the cable sharing took place and how much the cable company lost due to the illegal 2-4-1 special, those involved could face charges ranging from a class B misdemeanor to a second degree felony. They may also be flagged from receiving cable television through that company in the future and risk civil charges from the cable provider. Utah residents are encouraged to obtain services such as cable legally through the proper channels to avoid legal repercussions.