Retransmission battles expected to continue

It's pretty much a given that retransmission is in serious need of some major restructuring. Cable operators and broadcasters, never the closest of friends, are at each other's throats these days trying to either get more money for their programming or pay less money to get it. The situation has been made all that more desperate by the fact that the advertising-supported broadcast model is financially hurting and cable operators seem to be getting a "free ride" with valuable programming.

The situation is so serious that cable and satellite service providers actually banded together to ask the government for help and oversight. Until the feds step in--if they ever do--it appears that more fights like the one that nearly removed the Academy Awards broadcast from Cablevision Systems in New York or the Sugar Bowl from Time Warner on New Year's Day will happen as broadcasters wield big-time programming as axes over the heads of cable companies.

Until there is a resolution, consumers can expect revolution from their broadcasters seeking more money and their cable operators fighting back. One thing is certain, neither side will end up paying the price; that will be reserved for the cable subscriber.

For more:
- see this story in Broadcasting & Cable
- and this story

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