Retransmission growth continued to be a huge source of revenue for broadcasters in the second quarter. The results all feed into a recent report from Kagan that stated the total amount of retransmission fees collected by U.S. broadcasters from traditional and virtual MVPDs is expected to reach $12.8 billion by 2023.
Fox Networks Group, the division that includes FX Networks, National Geographic, Fox Sports and 19 regional sports networks warned it could cut off access to Charter’s 16 million Spectrum subscribers.
DIRECTV has lost six local channels in three markets due to a fee fight with their owner, Lilly Broadcasting. The channels affected in the dispute are: WSEE-TV (CBS affiliate in Erie, Pennsylvania); WICU-TV (NBC affiliate in Erie); WENY (CBS, ABC affiliates in Elmira, New York); and KMAU-TV (ABC and MeTV channels in Honolulu, Hawaii.).
DISH Network and Hearst Television stations reached an agreement on retransmission consent, bringing an end to a stalemate that had kept 31 Hearst-owned television stations off DISH for almost 2 months.
KRGV-TV, the ABC station in the Rio Grande Valley, Texas market, and WBRZ-TV, the ABC station in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, have removed their signals could from DIRECTV.
Consolidation of local broadcast stations could lead to more expensive fees for consumers as providers pass on ever-higher fees from broadcasters and content creators to subscribers.
Sinclair Broadcast Group, announced it had struck a $3.9 billion deal to obtain dozens of local television stations by acquiring Tribune Media. The move would further propel consolidation in the industry. With its new holdings, Sinclair would hold stations in seven of the biggest 10 markets.
TV-station owners may soon go on a buying spree, a consolidation wave that could limit programming options for viewers. The Federal Communications Commission has been working on eliminating a rule that limits TV-station companies from amassing more than 39% of U.S. households in their reach.
Frontier lost access to Sinclair Broadcasting stations including ABC affiliates in Seattle and Portland, OR, as well as cable’s Tennis Channel. Meanwhile, AT&T’s DirecTV lost 33 Hearst Television stations.
Univision stations in 37 markets are going back up on Charter Communications after a New York judge issued a temporary restraining order in the carriage battle between the Spanish-language media giant and the cable operator.
Comcast and YES were locked in a year-long battle over carriage of the channel. After several months of back and forth, the two struck a deal to return the channel on Jan. 1 as part of a broader carriage agreement with YES parent 21st Century Fox.
SNL Kagan’s projections call for the average TV station’s monthly per-subscriber fee to grow from $1.40 this year to $2.21 by 2022.
Bonten Media Group’s blackout of DISH customers in eight states in eight markets brings the 2017 blackout total to 75, putting 2017 on pace to see the most blackouts in a single year.
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.