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October 14, 2020

Retransmission Fee Notice

This year, once again, Premier is facing rising retransmission fees. Retransmission fees only affect our Cable TV customers. If you do not have Cable TV, these fees and changes will not affect you.

Premier Communications has contracts with local television stations that enable us to carry ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox stations on our cable network. The price agreements are renegotiated every 3 years, and detail how much these broadcasters charge us to carry their channel, these charges are called “retransmission fees.” These rates change on an annual basis. Retransmission fees come from a decades-old federal law that allows local broadcast stations charge cable and satellite companies, such as Premier, to carry their programming on our channel lineup.

Latest Negotiation Updates

November 4 Update

Nexstar and Premier Communications Continue Under Extension

Premier Communications and Nexstar Media Group are still operating under an extension to the current agreement. We do not believe there will be any loss of programming at this time. 

October 31 Update

Nexstar Grants Programming Extension

Premier has just been notified that Nexstar has granted a programming extension until November 4. This means that negotiations will continue until November 4, and programming will remain as normal until then. There are three scenarios that could happen on November 4:

  1. Premier and Nexstar come to an agreement and programming continues as normal
  2. Nexstar feels that a compromise is close and grants another extension on the current contract (beyond November 4) so we can continue to show KCAU and KELO programming in the meantime
  3. Nexstar refuses to compromise in any way and forces us to remove KCAU and KELO programming at 12:01 on November 5.

We hope that an agreement is reached by November 4 and programming will continue as normal, but we also want to make sure that the agreement is fair so we can, in turn, keep customer rates as low as possible.

October 28 Update

Nexstar Media Group continues to ask for exorbitant increases

Premier Communications continues negotiations with Nexstar Media Group over new retransmission rates for KCAU and KELO. So far, negotiations have not been progressing and it appears unlikely Premier and Nexstar will come to an agreement before October 31.

If an agreement isn’t reached, Nexstar may require Premier to remove KCAU and KELO programming until a new agreement is reached, at which point programming will resume.

We want to stress that this will not be a permanent removal; it is Premier’s intention to keep KELO and KCAU in our channel lineup.

If KCAU and KELO are temporarily removed from our channel lineup, there is an option to stream these channels via an app called Locast available for smartphones, streaming devices and web browsers. The app is free, although Locast does request of a small donation. Find out more at

*** Note that Locast uses your location, so will get either Sioux Falls channels or Sioux City channels depending on where you live. Unfortunately, you don't get to choose, but you will still get CBS and ABC programming. 

We recently sent a letter to all of our Cable TV customers regarding this issue, you can read a copy of the letter here >

October 15 Update

KCAU & KELO Negotiations are not progressing

This year, Premier is facing renegotiations with Nexstar Media Group, which owns KCAU (ABC, Sioux City) and KELO (CBS, Sioux Falls). Our agreement is set to expire on October 31. So far, Nexstar has been asking for excessive price increases and negotiations have not been progressing. Premier is fighting for you to keep rates as low as possible but if a fair agreement has not made by the end of October, we want to warn our customers that there is the potential that KCAU and KELO programming may be temporarily removed until an agreement is reached.

Are you upset about this? We are too! Because it’s not fair.

So what can you do? First of all, stand with us! More customers = more leverage with the broadcasters! You can also join the fight by writing a letter to your local congressional representatives.


Check out the FAQ’s below to learn more.

What are retransmission fees?

The fees that local broadcast stations charge cable and satellite customers to show their programming. If you watch local broadcast channels “over the air” with an antenna, the programming is free. But the broadcasters charge cable and satellite providers, such as Premier, and their customers, such as you, to “retransmit” those same channels. You are paying for supposedly “free” TV.

Why are we talking about retransmission fees so much right now?

Local broadcast stations such as ABC, CBS, etc. are using the popularity of their channels as leverage to push the programming fees they charge local service providers (such as Premier and other cable and satellite companies) high and higher.

How much are retransmission fees going up?

It appears that most bills could increase by several dollars but this varies depending on which local channels are on your channel lineup.

How does this affect my monthly bill?

Because these fees are not included in bundle or service prices, your bill will increase after Jan. 1, 2021. Retransmission fees are treated similar to state taxes that you pay for gas. Even if you are in a two-year contract, your bill will go up. Only the price of the bundle is fixed for two years. Premier has very little control over these types of taxes and fees passed through to our customers.

What is the alternative to paying retransmission fees?

Premier would need to completely drop the local Sioux Falls and Sioux City channels local channels. Based on feedback we receive, local channels are very important to the majority of our customers so dropping local channels is really not an option at this time. Switching providers will not help; all cable and satellite companies are forced to pay retransmission fees, they may include these fees in their service prices or charge on top as Premier does, but either way, you are paying these fees.

What is Premier doing about retransmission fees?

We are doing our best to negotiate on our customers’ behalf. We are a part of several organizations of local and national cable providers, all of whom are trying to reverse the laws that require retransmission fees.