Retransmission consent fees are such a valuable revenue stream that national networks are trying to wring more of those dollars from their local affiliates, as evidenced by an apparently rancorous meeting between Fox Network executives and their local affiliates at the NAB convention.
"It's not like it used to be. It's not a partnership anymore between the network and affiliates. They admitted that during the meeting," one local general manager told TVNewsCheck.
Networks have recently begun to take a greater interest in the retrans consent fees their local affiliates are earning and, in many cases, using to supplement their budgets as advertising slumps along in a bad economy. The ripple effect then hits the pay TV providers who are asked to pay higher fees to the local affiliates to, in turn, let networks dip their beaks further into the fund.
The TVNewsCheck story indicated Fox is demanding 25 cents per subscriber, climbing to 50 cents in four years.
Officially, Brian Brady, chairman of the Fox Affiliates Board released a statement that the two sides are "aligned in our goals to create a material dual revenue-sharing stream business for both the stations and the network."
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