Retrans reading: FCC looks at NBC template, CBS eyes $1 billion mark

Retransmission consent news just won't quiet down, despite the best efforts of some industry players (Comcast) who live on both sides of the fence.

Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA) has been hyping its "template" deal between its NBC broadcast network and local television station partners to split the fees and have the broadcaster do the yeoman's work of dealing with service providers. The FCC has to meddle though, and is questioning "whether it would be a per se violation for a station to give a network with which it is affiliated the right to approve a retransmission consent agreement with an MVPD or to comply with such an approval position."

The nation's top broadcaster, CBS (at least by viewership figures that NBC covets) sees retrans consent as a cash cow that could provide $1 billion in revenue over the next several years. CBS expects to earn 50 cents per subscriber per month for its owned and operated (O&O) stations and 25 cents per month from affiliates.

"We know every contract when it expires and what we need to get in those negotiations. The track has been laid. The good news is that from where we sit today, there is significant upside that is significantly accretive to our margin," CBS CFO Joe Ianiello said at the Barclays' Communications, Technology and Media Conference, reiterating claims and figures the Big Eye network continues to tout.

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