Retrans Fees Rising, Becoming Competitive With Cable Subscriber Revenues

In three years, TV stations’ average retransmission fees will rapidly climb to come in just behind the top five basic cable networks’ subscriber fees.

SNL Kagan says that by 2018, the average monthly per-subscriber retransmission fee will be $1.53 -- above all but five basic cable networks ESPN ($8.80), TNT ($2.16), Fox News ($1.67), Fox Sports 1 ($1.57) and Disney Channel ($1.56).

In addition, SNL Kagan says Regional Sports Networks -- premium-priced tier cable networks -- are projected to be significantly above the average retrans fee benchmark for broadcast stations.

SNL Kagan has raised its projections on retransmission revenues.

Total retransmission revenues are expected to rise by 63% to $10.3 billion in six years -- 2021 -- from $6.3 billion this year. SNL Kagan raised its 2020 estimate to $9.8 billion from $9.3 billion, a projection made a year ago.

While TV station retransmission revenue growth will continue, so will those dollars flowing back to their respective networks -- growing to 60% of affiliates retrans fees from 42%.

Total retransmission revenues going back to their networks are estimated to be $3.69 billion in 2021 from $1.65 billion this year.



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