Quincy Media’s NBC-Fox affiliate WGEM Quincy, Ill. (DMA 174) are once again being carried on Dish Network after a new retransmission agreement was reached.
Univision has sent a letter to the heads of the FCC and Federal Trade Commission buttressing its case that Dish continued to market the channels that had gone dark on the satellite service. The two are embroiled in a retransmission consent impasse that has resulted in Dish not carrying Univision, UniMas and Galavision since the end of June.
The National Association of Broadcasters is circulating a policy paper on Capitol Hill advocating for not renewing the STELAR law (Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act) when it expires at the end of 2019. STELAR reauthorizes the satellite compulsory distant signal license for five years. But last time around it was also a vehicle for some cable-friendly changes to retrans, including renewing the FCC’s enforcement of good faith retrans negotiations and extending the commission’s prohibition on coordinated retrans negotiations among noncommonly owned TV stations in a market from the top four to all stations.
Nearly a week after their distribution agreement expired, Fox Networks Group and Altice USA have reached a new carriage agreement. The deal includes retransmission consent payments for WNYW New York, and cable networks FS1, FS2, National Geographic Channel and FX.
Independent programmers that have long pushed Washington to take action to improve access to their programming and other programming not tied to big distributors or major studios, have told Congress that the retransmission consent regime is a big impediment to diversity of voices.
New carriage contracts with FiOS, Atlantic Broadband and Google Fiber cover more than 3.6 million subscribers.
With political advertising about to dwindle after the November elections, and core in an extremely low-growth mode, retransmission consent is seen as a key revenue generator for stations, according to a finance panel at TVB Forward. That could lead to further station purchases by the networks and makes the new revenue-producing abilities of ATSC 3.0 look more attractive.
The Manship-owned ABC affiliates in Harlingen, Texas, and Baton Rouge, La., went dark on the satellite provider on Friday. Manship said it had granted Dish multiple contract extensions in the hopes of coming up with a new deal.
The owner of ABC affiliate WAOW Wausau, Wis., has blacked out the channel for Dish Network subscribers as part of a fight with the satellite television provider over its monthly rates for local channels.
The American Cable Association wants to make sure that Gray is not allowed to raise the retrans fees of stations before spinning them off to other buyers in its purchase of Raycom’s TV stations. That’s according to an ACA filing at the FCC.