The “comprehensive” long-term deal covers 12 stations, many No. 1 in their markets.
CBS Corp. and Media General Inc. today announced a “comprehensive” agreement that renews all of Media General’s existing station affiliation agreements. Specific terms of the deal weren’t released.
“We’re pleased to have signed long-term agreements for all of our CBS stations, covering 12 markets nationwide,” said George Mahoney, president-CEO of Media General.
“We are excited to continue working with Media General to serve millions of viewers throughout the country,” said Ray Hopkins, president, Television Networks Distribution, CBS Corp. “Nearly all of Media General’s CBS affiliates are No. 1 in their markets, and we are glad to see that they recognize the value our programming brings to their business.”
The agreement includes renewals for the following Media General affiliates: WRBL Columbus, Ga.; WBTW Florence, S.C.; WNCT Greenville, N.C.; WHLT Hattiesburg, Miss.; WJTV Jackson, Miss.; WJHL Johnson City, Tenn.; KLFY Lafayette, La.; WLNS Lansing, Mich.; WKRG Mobile, Ala.; KELO Sioux Falls, S.D. (including its satellites KDLO Florence, S.D. and KPLO Reliance, S.D.); KCLO Rapid City, S.D.; and WSPA Spartanburg, S.C.
Wells Fargo Senior Analyst Marci Ryvicker was upbeat about the news, writing: “Media General’s CBS affiliation agreements are set to expire Jan. 1, 2015. While there was no color on terms, rate or length of the agreement, we think it still expires Jan. 1, 2015 and probably goes out for five years (given recent CBS renewals with other station groups), and we currently estimate a rate of roughly $0.75, which we think translates to a 40/60 split (no surprise here given the CBS/Tribune/LIN Indianapolis affiliation switch)
“This is a positive announcement, in our view,” she continued, because: “1) A long-term agreement means that Media General should be able to reprice its subs via retransmission consent at least once more before this new CBS agreement expires. 2) This announcement should eliminate investor concerns related to additional ”lost affiliations” for Media General/LIN.”