As Hearst blacked out 33 stations in 26 markets on Dish. Dish Network sent a letter to Congresswoman Anna Eshoo, a Democrat representing the Silicon Valley region, with some fast facts on broadcast retransmission.
If you’re mad as hell over your rising cable bill, blame programmers not your cable company, Liberty Media Chairman John Malone said in a take-no-prisoners interview Wednesday. “The villains are usually the programmers... We get the blame for it in the distribution side even though the pressure on pricing is all coming out of content.”
DBS Provider Says Other Fox Nets Became Part of Negotiations Typically, when a service disruption occurs it is the programmer that pulls the signal, as the distributor is more than happy to continue to offer the content under the prevailing rate under the extant contract.
Dish called out the increasing amounts of money broadcasters demand for retransmission consent, adding that retransmission fees have risen 22,500 percent between 2005 and 2015. “If the price of other consumer goods rose that fast, consumers would be priced out of almost everything – a dozen eggs would be nearly $350, a large coffee would be over $400 and a gallon of milk would be over $700,” said Schneider in her testimony.
Schneider said that “broadcasters’ disproportionate leverage” has led a rise in blackouts, from 12 blackouts in 2010 to more than 180 blackouts in 2015. “Blackouts inflict real injury on distributors, while barely leaving a mark on the broadcasters.” In addition to going in on broadcasters, Dish’s Schneider also called out programmers for bundling practices that force distributors to accept channels they don’t want in order to get the channels their customer do want.
While pay-TV operators continue to face year-end rebuke for their annual rate increases for video services, these price increases have not kept up with the growth in programming costs, Evercore analyst Vijay Jayant told investors. While consumers will pay, on average, about 3 percent to 4 percent more per month on their pay-TV bill, operators will pay 8 percent to 10 percent more this year for programming.