Scripps Renews ABC Agreements


E.W. Scripps has renewed affiliation agreements for its six ABC stations that include payments to the network for rights to offer its programming, an emerging trend. The new deals run through early 2015.

The Scripps stations involved are all in top-35 markets, from Detroit at No. 11 to Cincinnati, No. 33, covering about 8% of American TV homes.

Scripps has been negotiating with ABC for some time and operating under temporary agreements, after the previous deal expired early this year. The short-term arrangements have included payments to ABC for rights to carry its programming.

Scripps did not disclose the terms of the new deal, but said recently in a government filing that it likely would be required to help "share in funding in network programming costs."

The company added that it expected there would be an elimination of historic fees ABC had paid it, known as network compensation. Scripps had received those through this year, although at a declining rate. It recently reported it took in about $1 million through the first nine months of 2010 in network compensation, down 82% from the period in 2010. That amount could include payments from ABC, as well as NBC.



Scripps has three NBC stations, and continues to negotiate on new affiliation deals with the Peacock network. It expects to have a pay-in, no-payout structure similar to ABC.

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