Perry Sook, the chief of Nexstar Broadcasting, says he’s optimistic that his station group ultimately will be able to collect carriage fees on par with a regional
sports network. That would be somewhere around $2 to $3 a month per subscriber from the cable/satellite/telco TV operators, Sook said.
“That is a realistic neighborhood for us to get in before the growth starts to level off,” he said Friday at an investor event.
As Sook views it, stations have lineups similar to a regional sports network: local content plus what could be equated to the MLB or NBA game: network prime-time fare.
Vincent Sandusky, head of the LIN station group, said an upside in retransmission consent fees could be making the case that with local stations so widely viewed, operators should reapportion more dollars to offer them and trim fees for niche cable channels.
“There is such a disparity in what our local stations (deliver) and what we’re currently getting,” he said, while joining Sook on the panel. Of course, as Sook noted, broadcast stations don’t give operators a couple of minutes an hour of ad time to sell themselves.
As for the ad market, Sandusky said LIN has seen an uptick recently in the home improvement category, while on the economic front Sook said: “As long as consumer credit is available, our business will continue to grow.”