DMA 9

WOW! Battling Meredith Over Atlanta Retrans

Amid what is relatively light turn-of-the-year infighting between broadcasters and their MVPD partners, WideOpenWest-owned Atlanta-area operator NuLink has lost access to Meredith’s local CBS affiliate WGCL and co-owned independent WPCH (Peachtree TV).

DMA 170

KNBN Rapid City Off Of DirecTV

The NBC affiliate in Rapid City, S.D., owned by Rapid Broadcasting, went dark on DirecTV as the new year began. The station said it “has been actively negotiating with DirecTV, but was unable to come to an agreement prior to the expiration of the contract.”

Sinclair And NCTC Reach Retrans Deal

The multi-year agreement also provides for carriage of Sinclair-owned Tennis Channel.

RETRANS

U-Verse Loses Two Stations In Fee Fight

The Sarkes Tarzian-owned stations — WRCB, the NBC affiliate in Chattanooga, Tenn., and KTVN, the CBS affiliate in Reno, Nev. — posted notices on their websites that U-verse is no longer carrying them. U-Verse owner AT&T and Sarkes Tarzian are fighting over how much the telco should pay to carry the two.

RETRANS

Frontier, Univision Renew Distribution Deal

The new contract covers all the Spanish-language broadcaster’s stations and networks including the Univision Network, UniMás, Galavisión, Univision Deportes Network, El Rey Network, FOROtv, TLNovelas, Telehit, Bandamax, De Pelicula and De Pelicula Clasico.

CFO: NBC Retrans Growth On Steady Path

Comcast CFO Mike Cavanagh sees continued growth for retransmission consent revenue at NBCUniversal and thinks the company will follow the same growth trajectory laid out by CBS. Speaking at UBS investors’ conference, Cavanagh said NBC pulled in $850 million in retrans revenues in 2016 and will take in $1.4 billion this year.

Dish And Lilly Reach Retrans Agreement

Dish Network said Thursday evening that signed a multi-year agreement with Lilly Broadcasting for carriage of the broadcaster’s stations in Elmira, N.Y. (WENY); Erie, Pa. (WICU and WSEE) and Honolulu (KITV) as well as three stations in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. The stations went dark on the satellite service on Sept. 30.

ACA To Monitor 3.0 Terms Of Retrans Deals

The trade group told the FCC that “should broadcasters insist on ATSC 3.0 carriage in their negotiations with ACA members … we will not hesitate to present these facts to the commission in a petition for reconsideration.”

 

CBS Retrans Blackout Ends For Dish Subs

After a three-day blackout, CBS and Dish Network settled their carriage fee dispute by agreeing to a new distribution deal, restoring CBS and CW signals to millions of Dish customers across the country who went without CBS football on Thanksgiving.

RETRANS

Markey Urges Dish, CBS To Settle Dispute

U.S. Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), called on Dish Network and CBS Wednesday to settle a dispute that could result in a television blackout of the New England Patriots’ Sunday game against the Miami Dolphins for Boston-area viewers.

RETRANS

CBS, Dish Seen Far Apart In Carriage Talks

The big TV broadcaster and the satellite distributor are at loggerheads over how much Dish should pay to carry CBS’s highly-rated programs,. As a result, CBS programming was removed from Dish early Tuesday morning. Dish subscribers who count on the service to serve up fare from a CBS-owned station can’t see it. The disagreement means 28 local channels in 18 markets across 26 states are off the air until the two sides can agree upon terms for a new contract.

RETRANS

CBS Stations, Nets Go Dark On Dish Network

CBS and Dish Network said Monday night that they have failed to reach an agreement on a new carriage deal. As a result, CBS’ broadcast network, several stations owned by CBS including in Los Angeles and New York, as well as CBS Sports Network, Pop and the Smithsonian Channel, are now dark on the nation’s No. 2 satellite service. The news comes as the companies’ contract expired at 10:59 PM PT.

UPDATED 12:21 PM ET

CBS, Dish Near Retrans Deadline

A contract deadline has been set for shortly after midnight Monday going into Tuesday morning, when CBS could possibly remove its CBS and CW stations from Dish subscribers.

UPDATED, 5:23 PM ET

FCC Clears The Way For ATSC 3.0

Broadcasters are free to move to the next-gen television transmission standard that has been in development for more than seven years. They view it as a potential game changer that is designed to enable them to enhance their broadcast abilities to mobile devices and allow them to tap into new business opportunities.

RETRANS

Month-Long Station Blackouts Continue

There are  three major carriage disputes that have left scores of thousands of viewers unable to watch their local channels for more than month: DirecTV vs. American Spirit Media, AT&T vs. Capitol Broadcasting and Dish Network vs. Lilly Broadcasting.

EARNINGS CALL

Cord-Cutting Cuts Into Scripps Retrans Take

Scripps top TV exec Brian Lawlor says retrans-paying cable and satellite subs are down 2%-3%, but that new carriage-fee revenue from OTT skinny bundles should eventually offset the losses. In any event, retrans will grow 15% next year, while net retrans grows in low double digits.

Lilly Says It’s Close To Retrans Deal With Dish

Lilly Broadcasting believes it is close to bringing the month-long blackout of its stations on Dish Network to an end. Lilly COO John Christianson said the two parties are nearing a new retransmission consent deal for the broadcaster’s 11 stations. “I’ve had very positive conversations with Dish in the past several days, and we should have a resolution solved shortly with that for all properties, whether it’s in Puerto Rico, Hawaii, New York or Pennsylvania,” Christianson said.

DMA 66: HONOLULU

KFVE Files FCC Complaint Against DirecTV

HITV, owner of Hawaii MyNetworkTV affiliate KFVE, filed a complaint with the FCC alleging that DirecTV violated the agency’s rules requiring it to negotiate in good faith.

Retrans A Key Part Of FCC’s ATSC 3.0 Plan

Thursday evening the FCC released details of its proposal to OK ATSC 3.0 and retrans plays a big role. Under the proposed rules, must-carry protection would apply only to a broadcaster’s ATSC 1.0 transmission, not its new 3.0 signal, at least during the simulcasting period the FCC is planning to mandate to protect consumers during the transition. But the proposed rules also make clear that broadcasters will be free to negotiate retrans consent deals for carriage of their 3.0 programming, even during the simulcasting period.

RETRANS | DMA 66

KFVE Honolulu Gone From DirecTV

The Hawaiian independent station was dropped from the satellite service Thursday following four extensions over the last seven weeks of its carriage deal.

Verizon To FCC: Time To Reform Retrans

Verizon feels that OTT streaming customers shouldn’t bear the brunt of a retransmission impasse between their internet provider — often a cable operator — and programmers, and wants the FCC to consider this in any reform of the retransmission consent process.

DMAS 28 & 34

Dispatch Stations Return To DirecTV, U-Verse

A month-long retrans impasse between AT&T and Dispatch Broadcast Group has been settled. A new three-year renewal has returned Dispatch’s CBS affiliate WBNS Columbus, Ohio, and NBC affiliate WTHR Indianapolis to DirecTV and U-Verse. Terms were not announced. DirecTV also ended its dispute with Denali Media Holdings.

DMAS 25 & 130

Capitol Broadcasting, Dish Renew Retrans

The multi-year deal covers the broadcaster’s WRAL and WRAZ in Raleigh, N.C., as well as its WILM Wilmington, N.C.

JESSELL AT LARGE

Retrans Blackouts During Disasters Hurt All

To allow station blackouts in the middle of a retrans fight when hurricanes or other disasters loom as Lilly Broadcasting and Hearst did is not too smart. In addition to possibly depriving viewers of access to vital information, it gives retrans foes more ammunition in their fight against this valuable second revenue stream.

EXECUTIVE SESSION WITH PERRY SOOK

Frontline Recollections Of Birth Of Retrans

Perry Sook, CEO of Nexstar Broadcasting negotiated one of the earliest retrans deals with an MVPD in 2005 Since Sook took his stand, retrans has grown into a powerful second revenue stream, contributing $40 billion to the top line of the industry. It has kept broadcasting in the TV game. Here, Sook talks about how this vital second revenue stream came to be and its prospects for the immediate future.

OPEN MIKE BY TOM MEEK

Data And Persistence Made Retrans Possible

After a decade of networks mainly negotiating for additional new cable channels, in 2005 broadcasters finally began to monetize their cable carriage on a regular basis. That revenue is fair in a marketplace where cable programmers have obtained ever-increasing fees for carriage, while top broadcast stations consistently deliver higher ratings in cable homes than most cable programs. Here’s some of the backstory of how that momentous change came to be.

 

ACA Campaign Blasts Broadcasters’ Retrans Record

The American Cable Association today launched TV Ransom, a national campaign to “set the record straight that corporate broadcasters are to blame for out-of-control retransmission consent fees and TV station blackouts that blindside consumers with the needless loss of their favorite news, weather reports, and national sporting and entertainment events.” Across the country hundreds of local […]

ACA: No Retrans Blackouts During Disasters

The cable group wants the FCC to add to its list of prohibited “bad faith” retrans negotiation actions a broadcaster’s failure to provide an MVPD with authorization to retransmit its signals, or an MVPD’s refusal to retransmit such signals, during emergency situations.

Ryvicker Skeptical Of Ion-Fox Merger Report

“There is no basis” for the story in The Street that says that Fox and Ion are forming a joint venture to own and operate their combined stations, the Wells Fargo analysts says in a note to clients. “This is a complete overreaction based on no underlying research, data or factual information, in our view.”

Good Day For ESPN In Wake Of Altice Deal

The cable service will pay more for ESPN and other Disney-owned networks under a tentative contract renewal. Disney shares rose $1.29 on Monday.

Ion Sweetens Offer To Merge With Fox O&Os

21st Century Fox stands to gain from an elevated offer from TV station owner Ion Media Networks for a joint venture that would combine the companies’ TV stations. According to two people familiar with the talks, the potential deal would give Fox as much as 90% of the retransmission fees for its affiliated stations collected by the JV from pay-TV operators. That’s a marked increase from where talks stood during the summer, the industry sources said.

NEWS ANALYSIS

Altice Not Just Another Deal For Disney

The prospect of TV channels going dark due to a standoff between a media conglomerate and an MVPD has become so commonplace in recent years that it barely registers anymore. And with less than 4% of Disney’s total TV reach coming through its New York-based cable TV footprint, Altice USA may not have loomed too large as challenges go for Bob Iger. But the implications of Disney reaching agreement on an affiliate-fee renewal Sunday after extended talks with Altice shouldn’t be easily ignored.

COMMENTARY BY BOB SCHERMAN

Retrans: ‘Anti-Competitive,’ ‘Regressive’

The Cable Act of 1992 was a mixed bag. Its program access provision gave satellite TV a big boost by giving operators the ability to distribute the most popular cable networks. But the retrans provision have proved to be anticompetitive and “a complete, absolute disaster for consumers.”

RETRANS

Lilly OKs Dish Carriage In Puerto Rico, VI

Lilly Broadcasting’s COO says it has given permission to Dish Network to continue carrying its stations in storm-ravaged Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, although Lilly stations in Erie, Pa., go dark in a retrans dispute.

 

RETRANS

Altice, Disney Avoid Blackout With New Deal

Cable operator Altice USA and Disney have reached “an agreement in principle” after days of tense contract talks. Talks between Altice and Disney went down to the wire Sunday afternoon against a 5 p.m. ET deadline for a new carriage agreement to avert a black out of ESPN, WABC-TV New York and other Disney-owned channels on Altice USA’s Optimum platform serving about 2.6 million New York-area subscribers.

JESSELL AT LARGE

Retrans Saved Local TV, Now What?

Next Thursday is the 25th anniversary of the law that empowered broadcasters to negotiate for retrans rights. If you are not celebrating the day, you should. Retrans has shifted nearly $40 billion from cable to broadcasting over the past 11 years. But it can’t save local TV forever. While the NAB continues to stave off cable retrans “reform” efforts, broadcasters must find ways to revitalize the spot business.

RETRANS

ESPN The Problem In Disney-Altice Dispute

Walt Disney Co. is facing a crucial test of the strength of its ESPN sports empire as a New York pay-TV provider is balking at the Burbank entertainment giant’s contract demands, setting the stage for a high-stakes showdown. Altice is refusing to meet Disney’s demands to carry ESPN and Disney’s entertainment channels, including ABC, saying Disney is asking for too much money, particularly for ESPN, which has been struggling with subscriber losses and ratings declines.

Raycom, DirecTV Reach Retrans Deal

After a number of extensions, Raycom Media signed a new carriage agreement with DirecTV on Wednesday, preventing a blackout of Raycom’s 54 stations. “Our local commitment is to always put the needs of the communities we serve first,” said Pat LaPlatney, Raycom CEO. “We’re pleased that we have been able to reach an agreement without any disruption to our viewers on the DirecTV system.”

RETRANS | DMA 52

Dish Signs Deal To Keep WLNE Providence

Dish has reached a multi-year agreement with Citadel Communications for carriage of the ABC affiliate in Providence, R.I. The two sides had been working on a new agreement since late August when the old pact expired. Dish and Citadel signed a handful of temporary agreements to avoid a blackout.

RETRANS

DirecTV Avoids Raycom Blackout, For Now

AT&T has signed another temporary agreement with Raycom Media to keep its 40-plus local stations in AT&T’s DirecTV’s lineup. The new deadline for a carriage deal is tomorrow (Wednesday, Sept. 27) at 8 p.m. ET. If a new agreement is not signed by then, Raycom could pull its network affiliates from the satcaster.