Fox And DirecTV Reach Carriage Renewal, Avoiding Blackout

The new arrangement follows Fox having run a crawl on some networks to warn of programming potentially going dark.

FCC Chief Rosenworcel Open To Beefing Up Agency’s Power Over Retrans Disputes

She tells lawmakers she “welcomes” the chance to better protect consumers from blackouts. She expressed her view in a letter to Rhode Island’s congressional delegation, whose members had pushed the FCC to do everything it could to help resolve a retrans dispute — since resolved — between Nexstar Media Group and Verizon Communications affecting WPRI Providence.

Sinclair Sees Reverse-Comp Demands Slowing As Networks Push Streaming

With media companies prioritizing streaming, the pressure to raise programming fees on affiliates appears to be easing, according to Sinclair Broadcast Group CEO Chris Ripley. On the company’s third-quarter earnings call with analysts and investors Wednesday morning, Ripley said “there has been a shift in terms of negotiating position” as networks have moved some of their best content to streaming.

Mission Calls AT&T ‘Intractable’ In Letter To Government Officials

In the midst of a retransmission fee dispute with DirecTV, Mission Broadcasting has prepared letters for its station general managers to send to government officials blaming an intractable satellite company for the blackout impacting their constituents.

Nexstar, Verizon Fios Reach Deal To End Two-Week Blackout

Nexstar Media Group said it reached an new retransmission consent agreement with Verizon Fios, ending a two week blackout. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The dispute affected more than 3 million subscribers in 10 markets, according to Nexstar.

DirecTV Asks Blacked Out Stations To Return Signals Through Election Day

DirecTV is asking the 27 stations owned by Mission Broadcasting and White Knight Broadcasting that are blacked out to its subscribers because of a retransmission consent fee dispute to return their signals through election day. The satellite company is offering to pay the stations whatever new rate winds up being negotiated retroactively to the return of the signals.

Nexstar Stations Go Dark In Fee Dispute With Verizon Fios

Nexstar Media Group stations went dark in homes subscribing Verizon Fios at midnight on Friday as the two companies’ retransmission agreement expired without the sides being able to agree on an extension. Nexstar said that nearly 3 million subscribers and 13 of its TV stations serving 10 markets are affected.

Altice USA and Fox Reach Carriage Deal Agreement For Optimum, Averting Sports And Content Blackout

Let the games continue. Altice USA and Fox reached a new carriage agreement just before a Friday midnight deadline that would have blacked out Optimum programming for New York area viewers. That would have been disastrous for sports fans, who look forward to Fox’s NFL, college football, and Major League Baseball playoffs coverage in one of the busiest months of the year.

Fox, Altice Fee Dispute Could Lead To Blackout

With their distribution agreement set to expire Friday, Fox and Altice are warning viewers they could be facing a programming blackout Friday at midnight. The dispute over retransmission and cable carriage fees could affect stations including WNYW New York and cable channels FS1, FS2, Fox News, Fox Business Network and the Big Ten Network, and comes at a time when Fox has a heavy sports lineup, including NFL games, college football and Major League Baseball playoffs.

RAISING THE BARR

The Network-Affiliate Conundrum

The broadcast networks may be desperate to keep up with the big streamers by laying big bets on their own, but in the process, they’re choking off their local affiliates and hastening their own demise. It’s time for a more cooperative relationship.

Verizon, Nexstar Warn Of Potential Blackout Friday

Verizon’s Fios TV and Nexstar Media Group are warning viewers that a dispute over retransmission-consent and other distribution fees could result in a programming blackout on Friday. The dispute involves 10 Nexstar TV stations including WPIX New York, Nexstar’s cable channel NewsNation and the Antenna TV digital broadcast network.

THE PRICE POINT

With NBC Near Certain To Cut Primetime, Prepare For A 10 P.M. News

NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell has all but confirmed a decision to trim back primetime by an hour, a move that will fundamentally alter the linear broadcast industry. Broadcasters would do well to buckle up for change now.

COMMENTARY BY MIKE CHAPPELL

It’s Time to Bring America’s Television Laws Into The 21st Century

ATVA’s Mike Chappell: “Television has changed a lot over the past 30 years. Our nation’s TV laws have not. Oct. 5 marked the 30th anniversary of the 1992 Cable Act, and American consumers continue to pay the price for these outdated regulations still on the books.”

ACA Connects To FCC: Retransmission Consent Is Broken

Smaller cable operators have a big issue with today’s communications marketplace, telling the FCC that while fixed broadband competition is thriving, the retransmission consent video marketplace is broken. ACAC said the retrans fees broadcasters charge have gone through the roof, and have come with requirements that multichannel video programming distributors carry lower-rated channels and multicast signals if they want to carry the higher value primary signals.

FuboTV Settles Carriage Beef With Univision

Univision has come to terms with virtual MVPD provider FuboTV on a broadcast retransmission deal, ending an impasse that threatened to black out channels including the flagship Univision, UniMas, Galavision and TUDN.

Mediacom Sets Carriage Renewal With Paramount Global

Cable operator Mediacom will continue carriage of Paramount Global networks, announcing Wednesday that the companies struck a renewed agreement. Financial terms were not disclosed. The renewal means Mediacom will continue to offer Paramount’s slate of broadcast, entertainment, news and sports networks. Among cable channels covered under the deal are BET, CBS Sports Network, CMT, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Paramount Network, Pop TV and the Smithsonian Channel, as well as rights to Showtime OTT.  The agreement also includes retransmission consent rights to Paramount’s CBS broadcast O&Ofs.

Talking TV: Parting Industry Thoughts From BIA’s Mark Fratrik

Dr. Mark Fratrik, BIA Advisory Services’ longtime SVP and chief economist, is retiring at the end of June. He talks with TVNewsCheck’s Michael Depp about retrans’ slowdown, OTT’s rise and the need for broadcasters to keep their eyes on competitors coming from all directions. A full transcript of the conversation is included.

CREDIT SUISSE COMMUNICATIONS CONFERENCE

Nexstar Learns To Live Without Auto

Nexstar executives told the Credit Suisse virtual conference on Wednesday that it has yet to see even modest recovery from the auto sector, though it’s still finding other categories to plug the hole. The company also spoke to its M&A ambitions, the prospect of selling its Food Network stake and the mindset it’s bringing to its upcoming MVPD and network affiliate negotiations.

TVN FOCUS ON BUSINESS

Broadcasters Seek More Control Over Virtual MVPD Carriage Compensation

Affiliate boards are pursuing relief from the FCC as vMVPDs continue to bedevil station groups pushed into “take it or leave it” deals negotiated exclusively by the networks. Note: This story is available to TVNewsCheck Premium members only. If you would like to upgrade your free TVNewsCheck membership to Premium now, you can visit your Member Home Page, available when you log in at the very top right corner of the site or in the Stay Connected Box that appears in the right column of virtually every page on the site. If you don’t see Member Home, you will need to click Log In or Subscribe.

Broadcasters Ask FCC to Dismiss Cable ATSC 3.0 Concerns

Pearl TV, the consortium of TV stations advancing NextGen TV, took aim at cable operators in a meeting with FCC Commissioner Nathan Simington. That is according to a FCC document on the meeting. Pearl TV was pitching a National Association of Broadcasters petition to clarify the application of the FCC’s ATSC 3.0 (NextGen TV) rules to multicast streams. Those are […]

Big 4 Affiliates Push For Regulating vMVPDs

Affiliated TV stations said they are suffering a double retransmission-consent hit from their networks driven by the move to streaming video. The chairs of the Big 4 network affiliate associations have been pressing the FCC to start applying retransmission consent rules to virtual multichannel video programming distributors (vMVPDs) so non-network owned stations can negotiate directly with streamers for payment.

Sinclair And Charter Reach Retrans Deal

Sinclair Broadcast Group and Charter Communications on Thursday reached a “comprehensive distribution agreement” for continued carriage of Sinclair’s TV stations, Tennis Channel, 19 Bally Sports RSN brands, Marquee Sports Network and the YES Network, in which Sinclair is a joint venture partner. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Cox Media Rejects ‘Suspect’ Cincinnati Bell FCC Complaint

Broadcaster Cox Media Group said it has “responded promptly” to outreach from Cincinnati Bell and rejects claims it has not been negotiating for retransmission consent in good faith or that it is demanding fees for the telco‘s broadband-only subscribers. Cincinnati Bell had filed a formal retransmission consent complaint with the FCC against CMG-owned WHIO — the CBS affiliate in Dayton, Ohio, and the top station in the market — for allegedly failing to negotiate in good faith, as FCC rules require, by trying to charge a fee per over-the-top video streamer as well as per traditional cable subs.

Sinclair, Charter Reportedly Carve Out Another Short-Term Extension

The two sides appear to be earnestly hammering out a longterm deal and will abide by temporary agreements until that’s done.

Telco To FCC: OTT ‘Retrans’ Fee Is Out Of Line

Cincinnati Bell, doing business as Altafiber, has filed a retransmission consent complaint against Cox Media/Apollo’s WHIO, the CBS affiliate in Dayton, Ohio, and the top station in the market, for allegedly failing to negotiate in good faith, as FCC rules require, by trying to charge a fee for over-the-top video streamers as well as traditional cable subs. Cincinnati Bell says that would constitute a “crippling” fee.

FCC Reviewing Comcast’s Complaint Against Nexstar

The FCC is finally moving on a request Comcast filed nearly nine months ago, asking the agency to declare that Nexstar is in violation of the 39% cap on broadcast national audience reach. But regulatory wheels move slowly, so there’s no indication yet of what the commission might do.

Nexstar CEO: NextGen TV Revenue Could Rival Retrans Take By 2030

As the pay TV universe shrinks, Nexstar Media Group Inc. is eyeing major revenue opportunities tied to the adoption of new broadcast technology. Chairman-CEO Perry Sook told investors at a March 14 conference that by the end of the decade, the Advance Television Systems Committee 3.0 standard, also known as Next Gen TV, may yield “spectrum monetization that could rival distribution revenue today.” In 2021, Nexstar registered distribution revenue of $2.47 billion, up 14.9% year over year.

FCC Denies Challenge To DirecTV’s Retrans Complaint Win

has upheld the collective multimillion-dollar fines against a number of TV stations for violating its mandate that retransmission negotiations be conducted in good faith, saying a challenge to that decision failed both on procedural grounds and on the merits. AT&T, the former owner of DirecTV, had filed the good-faith complaint against Deerfield Media, GoCom Media, Howard Stirk Holdings, HSH, Mercury Broadcasting, MPS Media, KMTR Television, Second Generation of Iowa and Waitt Broadcasting, all of which the FCC said failed to meet its standard for good faith negotiation.

Tegna, Mediacom Reach New Retrans Deal

The carriage agreement includes retransmission consent for 12 Tegna-owned stations in Mediacom markets.

Dish & Block Communications Settle Carriage Dispute

On Saturday night, Dish Network signed a new carriage agreement with Block Communications, returning seven Mideast network affiliates to the satcaster’s lineup after an eight-day absence.The affected channels are: WOHL Lima, Ohio (ABC, CBS); WLIO Lima (NBC, Fox); WDRB Louisville, Ky. (Fox); WBKI Louisville, (CW); and WAND Decatur, Ill. (NBC).

ViacomCBS, Comcast Strike Multiyear Carriage Deal

It includes distribution of ViacomCBS’s TV networks, including CBS Television Network, BET, CBS Sports Network, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Paramount Network, Pop TV, Smithsonian Channel, Showtime and others.

Tegna-Verizon Fios Blackout Ends

Tegna on Saturday morning reached an agreement with Verizon Fios on a new retransmission consent contract. Five stations had been pulled on Wednesday, Jan. 5: WUSA Washington (CBS); WPMT York, Pa. (Fox); WVEC Norfolk, Va. (ABC); WGRZ Buffalo, N.Y. (NBC); and WCCW Waterbury, Conn. (CW).

Cable Retrans Blackouts Declined Sharply In 2021, But 2022 Could See Uptick In Disputes

The New Year rang in with a bit of a whimper on the retransmission consent front, with the American Television Alliance estimating that blackouts in 2021 — those periods when stations go dark as deals expire — were about one-third their number in the previous year. But distributors won’t have much time to celebrate, as the traditional deal cycle suggests that 2022 could be another record year for broadcast service disruptions.

Tegna Stations Go Dark On Verizon Fios

Tegna stations in at least four markets were pulled off Verizon Fios Tuesday evening, with the station group and pay TV operator unable to reach agreement on a new broadcast retransmission consent contract. The blackout involves Tegna stations in Washington, D.C. (CBS affiliate WUSA); Norfolk, Va. (ABC affiliate WVEC); Buffalo, N.Y. (NBC affiliate WGRZ); and Harrisburg, Pa. (Fox affiliate WPMT).

Verizon Fios Subs Facing Tegna Blackout In Fee Dispute

Verizon Fios subscribers could lose access to programming from TV stations owned by Tegna in a year-end retransmission dispute. A potential blackout would mainly affect Verizon subscribers in the Washington, D.C., market. Tegna’s current agreement with Verizon Fios expires at the end of the year.

Dish And Sinclair Sign Retrans Deal For Stations

The new deal keeps Sinclair’s 144 TV station in 85 markets on the Dish TV satellite service. It also puts Sinclair’s Tennis Channel on Dish and on Dish’s virtual multichannel video programming distributor service, Sling TV. Sinclair’s regional sports networks remain off Dish and Sling as they have been since July 2019 in a separate dispute.

Dish Responds, Calls Tegna Lawsuit ‘Meritless’

Dish Network responded to Tegna’s cross-complaint — and its response to Dish’s earlier legal action — as “meritless and riddled with mischaracterizations and falsehoods.” Satellite-TV provider Dish and Tegna are locked in a retransmission consent battle that has left millions of Dish subscribers without access to the programming on Tegna’s stations since Oct. 6.

Tegna Files Cross-Complaint Against Dish

It charges the satellite provider with bad-faith conduct in retrans negotiations and responds to what it calls Dish’s “false claims.”

ViacomCBS Carriage Deal With Altice Covers Streaming Services

ViacomCBS and Altice USA said they reached a new carriage deal that includes the media company’s streaming services as well as its broadcast stations and cable networks.

Dish Files Bad Faith Complaint As Tegna Blackout Continues

Dish Network said it filed a complaint with the FCC charging that Tegna is not negotiating a new retransmission deal in good faith. Tegna stations have been blacked out to Dish‘s satellite TV subscribers since Oct. 7. Tegna called the complaint “utterly baseless and without merit.