Nexstar, Cox Battling Over Retrans Fees

Cox subscribers in nine markets could lose access to 13 Nexstar stations this Friday if a new distribution agreement isn't reached before then, the station group warns.

Nexstar Broadcasting Group cautioned this morning that Cox Communications’ subscribers in nine markets my lose access to 13 Nexstar stations at midnight Friday (Jan. 29) because of the failure of Nexstar and Cox to reach a new retransmission consent agreement.

“For over five months, Nexstar has been negotiating in good faith to establish a mutually agreeable contract with Cox,” Nexstar says in a statement.

“Nexstar will continue negotiating with Cox to try and reach a fair agreement to allow viewers to continue receiving its programming on an uninterrupted basis.”

The statement says the possible blackout involves affiliates of the Big Four networks, CW and MNT, but it does not say what markets or how many subscribers would be affected.

“Viewers affected by the potential black-out have several alternatives to continue to watch their favorite shows including other local cable providers, DISH, DirecTV, over-the-air, and services including Verizon’s FIOS and AT&T U-verse,” the statement says.

The statement makes Nexstar’s case for retrans fees.

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“Across the U.S., broadcast stations and station groups generate approximately 35% of household viewing, yet local broadcasters in aggregate received on average about 12% of the total distribution revenue from cable, satellite and telecom providers such as Cox.

“Conversely, Cox (through charges to its subscribers) pays The Walt Disney Company nearly $8.00 per household per month for carriage of ESPN and Turner Broadcasting more than $1.65 per household per month for TNT.

“With Nexstar’s commitment to local viewers’ information and entertainment needs, local businesses and their marketing effectiveness, local stations need to be fairly compensated for the value of their programming.”


Comments (2)

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Jayson Siler says:

January 25, 2016 at 10:47 am

Rent seeking 101.

Wagner Pereira says:

January 25, 2016 at 12:35 pm

With Cox and Comcast both owning TV Stations, Groups should just demand the average price of the retransmission dollars their own owned Stations are receiving and call it a day.


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