TVNEWSCHECK'S EXECUTIVE OUTLOOK

Affils, Networks In An OTT Tug-Of-War

As consumer interest in OTT streaming services grows, it’s crucial that TV stations be included to maintain OTA TV’s big advantage over cable and satellite: complete coverage. But carriage deals with streamers have become entangled in network-affiliate disagreements over control and how to split the revenue. This is an updated version of a story that originally appeared in TVNewsCheck’s magazine Executive Outlook last month.

The CW Ups Chris Brooks To Distribution EVP

Chris Brooks has been promoted to The CW’s executive vice president, network distribution. He is responsible for all network distribution, and also oversees affiliate relations and affiliate marketing activities at The CW. Brooks serves as the network’s primary liaison with its station groups and MVPDs.  Brooks joined The CW in 2014 as SVP of network […]

Prather: Nets Want ‘Every Penny’ Of Retrans

The Gray Television exec-turned-station-owner criticized the broadcast networks for their insatiable reverse comp demands. “At some point, we won’t have any incentive to take money from the cable guys [in retrans], if they want it all. And I think they want to get as close to all as they can, frankly.”

JESSELL AT LARGE

Padden’s Reversal On Network-Affil Relations

Preston Padden was once a network exec whose job was to keep affiliates in line. Today, he’s seeing things differently. The relationship is way out of whack, he says. The networks have too much clout. I tend to agree, but, unlike Padden, I don’t think a solution is to be found in FCC oversight. One alternative may be for small affils to take a page from cable’s book and form a co-op to negotiate collectively with the networks.

COMMENTARY BY PRESTON PADDEN

Some Thoughts On ATSC 3.0, Ansin/NBC

Former broadcast lobbyist Preston Padden: “ATSC-3 and SFN’s may be the just what broadcasting needs to prosper in the future. Certainly there are smart and dedicated women and men working hard to make these technologies a reality. However, I would offer a few cautions.” Also, “The [affiliation] dispute between NBC and [WHDH’s] Ed Ansin is unfortunate on many levels. If I was running a network today, I would want him as a part of my distribution platform.”

MARKET SHARE (DMA 25: RALEIGH, NC)

Everything Changed All At Once On WNCN

DMA 25: RALEIGH, NC

WNCN Sees Viewers Rise With Switch To CBS

Changing to affiliation with CBS resulted in a 56% increase in total household viewership, the Raleigh, N.C., station says. WNCN, branded as CBS North Carolina, premiered a 5 p.m. newscast on the first day of the change, Feb. 29, and enjoyed a 48% increase in viewership compared to the same week, same time slot a year earlier. Its 7 p.m. hour, featuring Judge Judy, was up 46% in the same comparison.

NATPE 2016

Turbulent Times For Station Group Execs

NATPE’s only broadcast TV panel featured (l-r after moderator Paige Albiniak of B&C): Jack Abernethy of  Fox Television Stations on the state of network-affiliate relations, Nexstar’s Perry Sook on why station groups shouldn’t be in national syndication; and Tribune’s Larry Wert on the on-going feud between CW and Tribune in which the network is demanding higher reverse comp fees from Tribune.

DMA 25

WNCN, WRAL Swap Affiliations In Raleigh

Unable to reach an accord that would extend their 30-year affiliation, CBS and WRAL are parting ways. Come Feb. 29, WRAL will become the the market’s NBC affiliate and Media General’s WNCN will become its CBS affiliate.

JESSELL AT LARGE

Broadcasting: No Country For Little Dogs

One of the unintended or unimagined consequences of broadcasting’s conversion to digital in 2009 is that the networks can play off one affiliate against another because there is no longer a shortage of broadcast outlets in any market. That’s apparently what happened in Tri-Cities where ABC dumped WKPT for Media General’s WJHL.

JESSELL AT LARGE

Retrans Good Place For Net-Affil Cooperation

If the broadcast networks can behave themselves and demonstrate to the affiliates that they can be trusted in making favorable OTT deals (transparency and no bundling), they may be able to convince the affiliates to tap them as their agents in dealing with the MVPDs on retrans as well.

JESSELL AT LARGE

Big Retrans Downside To Telletopia Plan

Startup Telletopia believes that it can retransmit the broadcast signals on the Internet and avoid all copyright liability by operating as a nonprofit. It says it would pay broadcasters for their signals, but if the FCC doesn’t rule that Telletopia and other online video providers are subject to the same retrans obligations as cable and satellite operators, what’s to stop Charlie Ergen or others from setting up nonprofits to take station signals for free?

TVN FOCUS ON BUSINESS

TV Everywhere, OTT Top Affils NAB Agendas

When affiliate boards sit down with network executives at the NAB Show next week, they’ll be trying to figure out how they can make money from streaming their signals to smartphones and tablets either through TV Everywhere or OTT. In addition, all Fox affiliates at the convention will get a chance to celebrate the new signs of life in the network’s primetime schedule.

TVNEWSCHECK FOCUS ON BUSINESS

Nets Hold Upper Hand In Affiliate Relations

Over the years, the balance of power in the network-affiliate relationship has shifted back and forth. Today, it has moved to the networks — perhaps permanently.

Indy Affiliate Switch: New Rule Or An Exception?

Network demands for increased programming fees form the central issue in affiliate-network relations today. And no recent story brought the situation into sharper relief than last summer’s announcement that CBS would move its long-time affiliation in Indianapolis from WISH, owned by LIN Media, to WTTV, a CW affiliate owned by Tribune Broadcasting. The reason: money. […]

CW’s Rush To Web Rankles Some Stations

The CW has moved more aggressively than many other networks to put all its shows on the Web. It is walking a fine line, according to the Wall Street Journal, trying to get bigger online while not alienating its broadcast affiliates. Wall Street Journal subscribers can read the story here.