In the News

What others are saying on these issues

  • Charter-NBC dispute could black out 17 million

    The blackout could result in a dropping of NBCUniversal networks such as Bravo and USA for Charter's 16.9 million Spectrum pay-TV subscribers nationwide. And those in cities such as New York, L.A., and Dallas-Fort Worth, where NBC owns the local station, customers would also lose the flagship NBC broadcast. The areas around Green Bay and Detroit would not lose their NBC channel, as NBC does not own stations in those markets.

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  • Dish Sues NBCUniversal as Carriage Dispute Escalates

    Dish and NBCUniversal are locked in tense negotiations over a renewal of their carriage agreement. If a deal is not reached, Dish customers could lose access to NBCUniversal-owned cable networks such as USA, Bravo, Syfy, CNBC and MSNBC as soon as Sunday. Customers would also lose NBCUniversal-owned NBC and Telemundo stations in local markets. “NBC’s public statements against DISH over the past 24 hours are in violation of the contract between the two companies,” Dish said in a statement.

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  • Small cable companies want DOJ to reinvestigate Comcast's merger with NBC

    Comcast, the nation’s second-biggest cable TV provider, poses “a much greater threat to competition” than AT&T’s recent merger with Time Warner — and the Justice Department should open a formal investigation, according to a collection of small and independent cable companies. For years, a number of government restrictions attached to the deal had limited Comcast’s ability to harm consumers, the letter by the American Cable Association said. But those restrictions expired over the summer, the group said, opening the door to questionable business tactics such as withholding NBC’s television programming from competing cable providers.

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  • Cable rivals call for Justice Department to investigate Comcast

    The American Cable Association, or ACA, which represents small to mid-sized cable systems across the U.S., sent a letter to the Justice Department on Monday asking it to scrutinize Comcast's business practices

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  • Comcast Beats Q1 Forecasts as NBCUniversal Revenue Boosted by Super Bowl, Olympics

    NBCU’s $9.5 billion in Q1 2018 revenue reflected 21% growth in the cable networks group and a 58% increase from broadcast TV… thanks to an 18% increase in retransmission revenue.

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  • TV Blackouts Will Only Get Worse

    Signal disruptions, or blackouts, spiked in the U.S. last year. They involved 29 TV stations… and more than 200 markets were affected, according to the American Television Alliance, a group that lobbies for cable and satellite providers. And that’s just for broadcast signals. It doesn’t capture situations like the recent removal of HBO and Cinemax, two premium cable networks, from Dish Network Corp.’s lineup, including from its Sling TV streaming app.

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  • Comcast to be “unleashed” on rivals when NBC merger conditions expire

    Yesterday's repeal of net neutrality rules isn't the only good news Comcast is getting these days. In January 2018, the conditions imposed by the US government on Comcast's 2011 purchase of NBCUniversal will begin to expire. Smaller cable companies that compete against Comcast are worried that Comcast will raise the price for carrying "must-have" programming such as regional sports networks, NBC's local TV stations, and NBC's national programming.

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  • American TV Alliance Warns of Blackouts

    Football always seems to bring out the retrans fireworks, so much so that the American TV Alliance (made up largely of MVPDs) sent out a missive warning consumers of a potential #blackoutblitz timed to football kickoffs and MLB post-season play.

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  • Burke: NBC Retrans to Reach $800M

    Adding that the monetization gap is closing rapidly, NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke said retransmission consent revenue at its NBC broadcast network should reach $800 million in 2016. That’s a big leap considering Burke said NBC had $0 in retrans revenue a little more than five years ago.

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  • Super Bowl Blackouts Loom As Retrans Battles Continue

    With the Feb. 5 Super Bowl fast approaching, pay-TV subscribers in seven states are at risk of missing one of TV’s biggest events due to local Fox affiliates being blacked out…

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  • Comcast program surcharges have spiked by 241% in 3 years, analysis says

    Since first initiating customer surcharges in January 2015, Comcast has increased fees for broadcast and sports programming by a combined 241% to $14.50 a month in most markets. "The cost of retransmission imposed by broadcasters continues to increase significantly as do the costs charged by regional sports programmers, and while these fees are increasing they only defray a portion of what we are being charged to be able to carry these channels,” Comcast responded in a statement.

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  • 2017 Sets New Retrans Record

    It looks like 2017 set a new record for retrans blackouts. An analysis by Cablefax and American Television Alliance counted 217 blackouts with more than a week left in the year.

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  • Retransmission Revenues Explode

    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.

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  • Dish: 750 blackouts have come as retrans fees have grown 27,400%

    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.

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  • John Malone Dishes on What Cable Companies Need to Do

    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.”

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  • Dish uses Senate hearings to blast broadcasters over blackouts

    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 customers do want.

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  • Pay-TV consumer rate increases have not kept up with programming costs growth

    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.

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