Hearst Stations Are Back On Dish Network After They Resolve Retransmission Tiff

Hearst TelevisionThat was quick. Some 25 Hearst-owned TV stations are back on Dish Network about 14 hours after they went dark in a retransmission contract dispute. The companies didn’t disclose terms. Hearst said that it regrets the … Read More »

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CBS Chief Raises Retransmission Revenue Estimate, And Says Aereo’s No Threat

By | Wednesday February 12, 2014 @ 3:08pm PST

This should impress Wall Street, although perhaps not the CBS lawyers who likely will tell U.S. Supreme Court justices why it’s so important for them to block the streaming service. Les Moonves headshotCEO Les Moonves told analysts this evening … Read More »

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Comcast’s 2014 Rates Will Include A $1.50 “Broadcast TV Fee”

By | Friday November 22, 2013 @ 3:54pm PST

The cable giant will score some PR points next year when consumers open their monthly bills. Instead of hiking rates for “limited basic” and “digital preferred” service, Comcast will tack on a new $1.50 charge that it … Read More »

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Media General & DISH Network Reach Retrans Agreement

By | Saturday November 16, 2013 @ 3:05pm PST

After going dark on DISH Network last month in a dispute that carried on so far the FCC was called in to mediate, Media General has reached an agreement with the satellite company. Terms … Read More »

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DirecTV And News-Press & Gazette Settle Retrans Dispute

The broadcaster’s 13 TV stations — mostly in Arizona, California, Colorado, Oregon, Idaho, and Texas – returned to DirecTV today after going dark on October 9. The companies indicated that they were making progress this week when the … Read More »

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Dish Network Asks FCC To Mediate Retrans Dispute With Media General

This is how Dish Network welcomes back the FCC following the federal shutdown? The satellite company filed a complaint today alleging that Media General has failed to engage in “good faith” negotiations to end the … Read More »

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Dish Network Reaches Long-Term Retrans Agreement With Gray Television

By | Friday October 18, 2013 @ 5:31am PDT

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. and ATLANTA, Oct. 18, 2013 – DISH Network L.L.C. and Gray Television, Inc. announced today that they have reached an agreement to continue the retransmission of Gray TV stations in 30 markets.

“DISH and Gray worked together on behalf of customers to reach a deal,” said Sruta Vootukuru, DISH director of programming. “Together, DISH and Gray serve viewers with local news and information, as well as network programming, and that will continue under this long-term agreement.”

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Media General Stations Go Dark On Dish Network In Retrans Dispute

The contract impasse left Dish Network customers through the southeast, Ohio, and Rhode Island unable to watch Media General‘s 18 network affiliated stations — including eight NBC affiliates, eight CBS ones, and one apiece for ABC and CW. Read More »

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Bill Would Empower FCC To Protect Pay TV Subscribers In Retransmission Disputes

The proposal today from Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif) offers just the kinds of reforms that pay TV execs want, especially following the recent 32-day blackout of CBS-owned properties on Time Warner Cable systems. Many cable and satellite providers say that they’re virtually powerless to resist broadcasters who demand big price increases for the right to retransmit their shows. The ranking Democrat on the House Communications Subcommittee says her Video CHOICE Act would change that and ensure that pay TV subscribers aren’t  ”caught in the middle of a dispute they have no control over.” Her bill would give the FCC the authority to keep local TV stations on cable or satellite systems during negotiations. The proposal would bar owners of broadcast stations from making deals that also require pay TV providers to carry the company’s cable channels. It would give subscribers the freedom to order pay TV service without broadcast channels that demand high retransmission fees. (The signals are available for free to anyone with an antenna.) The Act also calls on the FCC to study the impact of sports networks on pay TV costs in the 20 largest regional sports markets. Eshoo offered her bill ahead of her subcommittee’s hearing this week to consider extending the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act — which expires at the end of 2014 — and to renew the FCC’s power to step in to retransmission disputes if it believes at least one side isn’t negotiating in good faith. Read More »

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CBS And Time Warner Cable Resume Negotiations

By | Thursday August 8, 2013 @ 11:42am PDT

UPDATE, 12:58 PM: Time Warner Cable denies Martin Franks’ claim that it is trying to keep CBS from doing business with new entrants. “Both our expired and proposed agreements with CBS place no restriction on their ability to sell all of their product to Netflix, Amazon, Intel or … Read More »

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CBS Jabs At Time Warner Cable’s Charges For Los Angeles Sports Channels

By | Wednesday August 7, 2013 @ 9:04am PDT

UPDATE: Time Warner Cable says in response that it “partnered directly with the Lakers and Dodgers to cut out the expensive middleman and save our customers money in the long run. Since CBS O&O KCAL was, in fact, that middleman, it’s no surprise they disagree with our … Read More »

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DirecTV Roots For Time Warner Cable In Dispute With CBS

DirecTV and Time Warner Cable compete with each other most of the time. But with a shared interest in holding back programming price increases, the No. 1 satellite company decided to lend moral support to its business rival which on … Read More »

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Les Moonves Says CBS Will Remain “Resolute” In Talks With Time Warner Cable

CBS chief Les Moonves couldn’t resist alluding to his tense retransmission consent negotiations with Time Warner Cable — even though he didn’t want to address the matter directly in a conference call with analysts. Read More »

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Does CBS Have The Upper Hand In Its Battle With Time Warner Cable?

Most Wall Streeters seem to think that CBS will prevail in its effort to extract a big price increase from Time Warner Cable when they ultimately resolve their retransmission consent dispute. The fight involves CBS-owned stations that reach some 3.5M TWC homes, primarily in New York, Los Angeles and Dallas. But with the companies still at an impasse, CBS could go dark in the key TWC systems this Wednesday when their current carriage deal expires. Cable and satellite companies tend to blink first in retransmission disputes. As the No. 1 broadcast network, CBS is an unusually formidable adversary. Time also may be on CBS’ side: The football season begins in September and that must-have programming could “force a solution,” RBC Capital Markets’ David Bank says. Meanwhile, TWC could be distracted by a takeover battle. (Charter Communications, with support from its largest investor Liberty Media’s John Malone, reportedly is working with Goldman Sachs on a bid.) Bank believes that CBS ultimately wants to collect $2 per month for each TWC customer its stations reach, probably a 100% increase vs the current deal. Even so, “We have to side with CBS on this one,” says Wells Fargo Securities’ Marci Ryvicker. Read More »

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Should Broadcast Investors Look For Exits After Aereo’s Court Victory?

By | Monday April 1, 2013 @ 3:18pm PDT

Many seemed to think so today after a U.S. Appeals Court ruled that Aereo’s streaming service can stay in business while the company defends itself against a suit by broadcasters who say that it violates their copyrights. Broadcasters were among media’s big losers on Wall Street today; for example CBS was -2.2%, Gannett was -3%, and Sinclair was -3.7%. If the courts uphold Aereo’s right to retransmit over-the-air signals without paying stations, then it could derail broadcasters’ hopes of collecting billions each year from pay TV retransmission consent fees.  That’s possible, BTIG’s Richard Greenfield says: Today’s decision should cause the major networks to “accept Aereo’s legality and figure out how to deal with the implications to their business.” Considering the scope of the reasoning in the verdict, it’s “difficult to imagine how the broadcasters stand a chance of winning at trial in the District Court later this year or even how they could appeal a District Court loss to this Appellate Court.” As a result, he expects Aereo to accelerate its expansion plans — the service is up in NYC and plans to launch in 22 additional markets this year. (It tweeted last week that a Boston service will come “very, very soon.”) The analyst also says cable and satellite companies likely will now feel emboldened to resist broadcasters’ demands for high fees for their must-have programming while cable networks “look to license content to Aereo.” Read More »

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Sinclair Stations To Stay On DirecTV While They Work Out Retransmission Deal

Here’s another 11th hour retransmission consent agreement — not a moment too soon for Sinclair, which has its hands full with its new station acquisition deals. The broadcaster recently told DirecTV customers that “… Read More »

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Will Gannett’s TV Stations Go Dark On DirecTV?

By | Thursday November 29, 2012 @ 12:20pm PST

Here we go again. The biggest independent distributor of NBC programming has begun to air crawls and announcements warning DirecTV subscribers of “the possibility of a signal disruption” after November 30 when the programming carriage agreement for its 23 stations expires. … Read More »

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Sinclair Stations Could Go Dark On Dish Network Tonight

UPDATE, 9:10 AM: Sinclair’s angry about Dish’s “corporate greed” charge, and has fired back to “set the record straight.” The broadcaster says that the retransmission consent payments it wants for its stations “are substantially lower than the amounts … Read More »

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UPDATE: Time Warner Cable, Meredith TV Extend Retransmission Consent Talks

UPDATE, 7:30PM Wednesday: Time Warner Cable reported tonight the company has agreed to an extension of retransmission consent for Meredith TV stations through July 31. TWC said the two companies “hope to finalize an agreement before … Read More »

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