Broadcasters getting 50% more money from distributors, report says


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ESPN is not the only culprit driving up the cost of cable television.

A new study from media industry consulting firm SNL Kagan said broadcasters have increased the fees they receive from cable and satellite distributors by almost 50% over the last few years.

SNL Kagan compared the so-called retransmission consent fees received by 16 big broadcasters in the third quarter of 2009 with the third quarter of 2011 and found the current average amount up 50% to 33 cents per subscriber, per month.


That’s a far cry from the more than $5.00 per-month, per-subscriber fee SNL Kagan says ESPN gets, but it is not chump change either.

Small broadcasters in smaller markers get much lower rates, but Spanish-language broadcaster Univision is averaging a fee of 61 cents, Kagan said. Sinclair Broadcast Group, which is one of the nation’s biggest owners of local television stations, is averaging 49 cents. CBS is at 45 cents.


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-- Joe Flint