The FCC isn’t likely to loosen ownership restrictions anytime soon, said leaders from Nexstar, Gray and Meredith last week, but outside money is likely to continue coming into the industry while the ownership cap holds steady. L-r: Patrick McCreery of Meredith, Perry Sook of Nexstar and Pat LaPlatney of Gray. (Photo: Wendy Moger-Bross)
Fox Corp. and Charter Communications today said they struck a new “long term” carriage deal for Fox’s suite of TV networks, the latest in a recent series of agreements Fox has struck with various distributors. The pact covers distribution of Fox Television Stations, Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network, FS1, FS2, BTN and Fox Deportes. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The new carriage contract covers Sinclairs O&Os plus the Tennis Channel, Marquee Sports Network, 21 regional sports networks and the YES Network.
Fall brings football and retrans renewals. The FCC still has a retrans complaint pending from AT&T, and there’s some hope for congressional action.
AT&T and Northwest Broadcasting say they’ve ended their nearly eight-month old carriage fight, which means 20 Northwest-owned stations in 10 markets can now return to the AT&T-owned DirecTV, U-verse and AT&T TV Now.
Fox Corp. and Dish Network ended a programming blackout Sunday that had kept thousands of the satellite-provider’s subscribers from watching Thursday Night Football and other Fox network favorites for the past week or so.
Charter Communication said Sunday that it reached a long-term retransmission consent deal with Tegna that will keep the broadcast group’s network affiliates available to the cable company’s subscribers. The new contract follows a week of extensions after the old agreement expired.
The new deal covers distribution of the Fox Television Stations, Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network, FS1, FS2, BTN and Fox Deportes.
A sequence of recent actions suggests that cable operators are pushing back against collaboration with the Advanced Television Standards Committee’s efforts to enable carriage of the format on MVPD systems. It is unclear whether they legitimately believe, as claimed, that it is “too early” to establish ATSC 3.0 (aka Next Gen TV) retransmission procedures or if the MVPDs are defensively rejecting the standard’s data transmission opportunities as competition to cable’s own digital agenda.
Sinclair stations remained on AT&T’s U-Verse and DirecTV distribution platforms past the 5 p.m. Friday, Sept. 27, deadline. A source said Sinclair, which ultimately controls the signals, had provided the extension. It was not clear for how long.
Retrans and its derivative net retrans (retrans less reverse comp payment to broadcast networks) will grow at healthy clips for the next few years, she said. Retrans will experience a compound annual growth of 12%, while net retrans climbs at a 5% rate. But starting in 2024, by her reckoning, the rate of growth for retrans falls to 7% and net retrans goes flat.
As a blackout looms with the current retransmission consent impasse between Sinclair and AT&T — Sinclair is warning DirecTV and U-Verse customers the stations (136 stations in 86 markets) could be off those AT&T-owned MVPDs by Sept. 27 — AT&T is framing the impasse for legislators concerned about their constituent/viewers as a still-ongoing negotiation with AT&T, not surprisingly, “on the side of the customer.”
Fox-owned TV stations in 17 markets as well as FS1, FS2, Big Ten Network, Fox Soccer Plus and Fox Deportes have gone dark on Dish Network in the latest carriage dispute to throw a wrench into the pay-TV ecosystem. The dispute affects Dish’s 12 million satellite households as well as millions more who subscribe to the internet-delivered bundle Sling TV, in 23 states and Washington, D.C.
The Walt Disney Co. reached an agreement in principle Friday evening on a new retransmission consent and carriage deal with AT&T that would keep networks including ABC, ESPN and the Disney Channel glowing in homes with DirecTV, U-verse and AT&T TV Now. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Sinclair Broadcast Group is warning that millions of subscribers to AT&T’s pay TV services could be blacked out on Sept. 27 unless a new carriage agreement is reached. Sinclair said its agreement with AT&T was set to expire in August and that it gave AT&T a five-week extension.
Meredith’s television stations in 12 markets return to the satellite provider’s lineup immediately after almost two months.
After lengthy blackouts of CBS and Nexstar stations, plus the impact of price increases, AT&T expects to lose about 300,000 to 350,000 subscribers in the quarter, CFO John Stephens said Wednesday.
If the companies are unable to reach a new agreement, DirecTV subscribers could lose access to ABC, ESPN, Disney Channel, Disney Junior and Freeform.
DirectTV and Cowles have reached an impasse in their retransmission consent negotiations, resulting on DirecTV dropping Cowles’ NBC affiliate KHQ Spokane and its satellites serviving Yahima and Richland and four Montana stations — NBC affiliate KULR Billings, ABC affiliate KWYB Butte, ABC affiliate KFBB Great Falls and ABC affiilate KTMF Missoula, according to the stations’ websites. Their last retrans agreement expired in June.
The multi-year deal, which covers DirecTV, AT&T TV and U-verse, ends a nearly two-month impasse. Terms were not disclosed.
The Walt Disney Co. and Dish Network appear to have avoided a blackout of the FX and National Geographic channels that could have started at midnight ET Tuesday. Sources indicated that the deadline was postponed and that negotiations have become productive.
Disney has started advising Dish subscribers of a looming contract deadline with FX and National Geographic, which could go dark on the satellite system. The two companies had previously negotiated past a contract deadline in July, citing progress in the talks as the signals remained active on the satellite system. The current deadline is 9 p.m. PT today.
Hank Price: That crucial point in the long-running retrans standoff will come Sept. 5, the day the regular NFL season kicks off on NBC. If there is one thing that will cause consumers to change providers, it is the loss of NFL football. Should that happen, it will be a boon to the cable light OTT services. And the stakes are just as high for Nexstar since the NFL is a very specific advertising buy.
Charter and Disney have reached a multiyear carriage agreement, avoiding a blackout of networks including ESPN and ABC. Charter has agreed to carry the ACC Network, a new network in the ESPN family, as part of the deal.
CBS Corp. and AT&T renewed their contract on Thursday, ending a 20 day-long blackout that began when the companies’ previous, seven-year deal expired at 2:00 a.m. ET on July 19.
Disney and Charter are still discussing a new multiyear carriage agreement, blowing past Friday’s 12:01 a.m. deadline, as the two sides try to reach a deal, according to people familiar with the matter.
The broadcasters aim to shut down the digital app service that has attracted tens of thousands of users and is threatening billions of dollars in retransmission contracts.
As expected, the ongoing impasse between CBS and AT&T is wreaking havoc on WBBM’s already low ratings. The blackout of CBS 2 on DirecTV, DirecTV Now and U-verse cable systems appears to have cost the CBS-owned station more than a quarter of its viewership.
As an impasse with AT&T continues into a second week, CBS Corp. has reached a carriage deal with Altice USA, a major cable provider. The new deal covers retransmission consent for CBS-owned stations and the carriage of Showtime, CBS Sports Network, Pop TV and Smithsonian Channel on the Optimum and Suddenlink cable systems run by Altice. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Retrans battles are known for their gamesmanship, but Nexstar’s characterization of some of the Hill pushback on the ongoing retrans impasse with AT&T’s DirecTV drew the ire of one local paper, some MVPD fans, and, ultimately, some corrections.
The stations group has 16 stations pulled off the satellite service.
CBS has sent the first shot across the bow in a widely watched carriage fight with AT&T and its DirecTV, DirecTV Now and U-Verse pay-TV platforms. The media company said today that it is negotiating “resolutely and in good faith” with the AT&T units ahead of an 11 p.m. PT deadline on Friday.
Executives from AT&T and Nexstar Media Group met over the weekend, but the nearly two-week long blackout of about 120 stations continues. The talks continue but there has been no agreement yet, according to an AT&T spokesperson. Negotiations will continue this week, a Nexstar spokesman added.
Disney is set to renew its multiyear carriage agreement with Charter, the second-largest U.S. pay TV provider, at the beginning of August, according to people familiar with the matter. So far, there are no signs the two sides will have a testy public renegotiation.
The American Television Alliance (ATVA) is using the Nextar/DirecTV retrans impasse to pitch Congress on renewing STELAR, the satellite license law that also includes requiring the FCC to enforce good faith negotiations in retrans disputes.
If Dish and Meredith fail to reach an agreement, 16 Meredith-owned stations’ programming will not be available on Dish systems as of 7 p.m. ET on July 15.
AT&T is looking to make sure local viewers have access to emergency weather information, and at the same time remove an issue raised by a U.S. senator from weather-plagued Louisiana related to an ongoing carriage impasse with Nexstar.
It looks like AT&T’s DirecTV and Uverse customers will have to wait at least another day for the possible resolution of the week-long retransmission consent battle between the pay TV giant and Nexstar Media Group.
AT&T has sued Max Retrans, a consultant that works with TV stations negotiating with distributors, claiming it used confidential data to get higher fees for its clients. In U.S. Court in St. Louis, AT&T said it is seeking an unspecified amount of damages, including inflated retransmission consent fees, punitive damages, attorney’s fees and court costs.