The 'Bundle' That Is The Pairing Of TV Networks And Affiliates

TV stations will continue to be part of the mix when it comes to sports programming in the future, even with the proposed new sports streamer from Walt Disney-Fox Corp.-Warner Bros. Discovery -- at least according to TV station executives.

But the business math will surely change. Early last month, Adam Symson, E.W. Scripps CEO, told CNBC he had assurances that the new big sports platform will see TV stations included in the effort. 

Symson said TV station affiliates will be compensated -- in a similar way to many other streaming digital/streaming efforts, as well as those virtual pay TV providers just as YouTube TV and Hulu+Live TV. He did not provide specific financial deals.



So the longtime "bundle" -- linear TV networks and their linear affiliates' partnerships -- seems likely to continue.

It may be amazing to some that TV stations -- long considered the foundation of traditional broadcast TV networks -- remain intact.

Specifically, TV stations have been the foot soldiers on the ground in local markets keeping the TV network relationship with viewers going -- especially from a promotion and advertising perspective.

Still, actual dealings around these business relationships keep changing -- especially when it comes to retransmission fees that TV stations share in paying their TV networks.

For example, there has been talk about TV station executives adjusting to a variable percentage fee -- from fixed fees -- in giving back part of those fees to networks as it pertains to high -valued sports programming.  

Cord-cutting, of course, has a lot to do with it. TV stations retransmission fees will continue to slow in the coming years -- getting to around $16 billion in 2027, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence.

Some think, of course, much of this could extend to all types of platforms -- streaming, digital and otherwise -- when it comes to TV network groups expanding in the digital space. 

This will include how TV stations will continue to deliver -- especially among the slowing, but still (at the moment) money making capabilities of  linear TV networks businesses in the years to come.

Beyond promotion/advertising, what's left to do -- especially as the younger set keeps drifting away?

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