TV Retrans Fees Soar 27%

Arrow-over-moneyAverage monthly retransmission fees that TV stations get from cable, satellite, and telco video services continue to climb.

Now the average monthly fee is about 33 cents per subscriber per month, as of the third quarter of 2011 -- up 27% over the same period in 2010 and 47% over the same period in 2009, per SNL Kagan, which surveyed 16 TV station group owners.

Univision Communications ranked first at 61 cents, and Sinclair Broadcast Group was second at 49 cents. Next came Newport Television and Lin TV, ranked third at 48 cents each. CBS Corp. ranked fourth, with retrans fees of approximately 45 cents.

SNL Kagan says CBS pulled in a collective $52.3 million in retrans revenue in the third quarter. CBS Corp. projects that it will pull in about $250 million in retrans revenue in 2012.

Previously, SNL Kagan had noted that monthly subscriber fees that go to cable networks can range from 14 cents per customer for channels such as the Food Network to as much as $4 per subscriber for cable sports networks such as ESPN.

Looking ahead, SNL Kagan says average retrans fees will remain on an upward trend, giving the leverage of valuable programming to owned-and-operated stations.



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