US retrans fees ‘to reach $10bn’

Retransmission fees for US TV station owners could reach US$10.3 billion annually by 2021, according to new research.

This is in comparison with an expected figure for 2015 of US$6.3 billion, SNL Kagan’s industry retransmission fee projects suggests.

Retransmission fees, which see cable and satellite platforms pay networks to broadcast their channels, have become a key battleground in the US as a means for broadcasters and their local affiliates to recoup revenues lost to falling advertising rates.

SNL Kagan noted US station owners had “continued to secure higher retrans fees in recent negotiations, with strong advances made at year-end 2014 from renewals and annual step-ups in existing contracts”.

Broadcast networks, meanwhile, have also found success in extracting more from fees with distributors, and cooperating between them and affiliate stations are improving on OTT services such as CBS All Access.

This is providing new avenues to monetise content and hedge against potential retrans disputes, which are increasingly common, and loss of multichannel subscribers through cord-cutting.

In light of its latest findings, analyst SNL Kagan has increased its projection for retrans revenues by 2020 to rise US$500 million to US$9.8 billion.

Tags: SNL Kagan