Explaining Retransmission Fees:
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, which will once again happen on January 1, 2018. 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.
This year, local broadcast providers have indicated that they intend to dramatically raise the fees they charge Premier to carry their station on our channel lineup; the increase could be 40%-60% higher! The irony isn’t lost on us. If you have an antenna, you can probably access some of your local stations (ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC) for free if the broadcast signal is strong enough. You are paying for “free” TV. This isn’t fair! You, the customer, are being forced to shoulder the cost of local TV.
An important Note: Because of the extreme fluctuation in retransmission fees, particularly in the last several years, retransmission fees are calculated similarly to taxes, in that, they are charged outside of the bundle or Cable TV package prices. Premier Communications does not keep or profit from these fees, they are sent directly back to the broadcasters.
You Aren’t Alone:
This problem isn’t limited to Premier, other Cable and Satellite providers that have local channels on their lineups are facing the exact same increases.
American Cable Association – Broadcast Retransmission Fees will Cost U.S. Consumers
Premier is taking Action:
In an attempt to increase our negotiating leverage, Premier Communications participates in a bargaining group of more than 600 video providers from across the country. This entity also has professional lobbyists and PACs that work on the federal level to change laws. Premier and our negotiating group has spent the past several months attempting to negotiate with broadcasters and reverse the laws that allow broadcasters to charge Cable providers to carry their channels. We had hoped to come to a reasonable compromise. Unfortunately, these broadcasters are shielded behind huge companies, and can hold their content and channels ransom for outrageous fees. The money made from retransmission fees also is a growing source of income for corporate broadcasters.
American Cable Association – Broadcast Fees Go Up While Network Audiences Go Down
The alternative to paying retransmission fees is Premier would not be able to carry any of the local channels (NBC, CBS, ABC and Fox). If we stop paying, the broadcasters take their channel away.
It’s Not Fair:
You, the customer, are being forced to shoulder the cost of local TV and provide a source of income to the broadcast stations. We strive to keep prices as low as possible. But we can’t control how much we are all forced to pay to carry local TV stations. In fact, these TV station fees have grown thirty times over the last decade.
You can help by writing to your congress members. Ask them to update our TV rules by supporting “local choice” – the ability for viewers to see how much local TV channels cost and decide for themselves which ones they want to pay for.
We strive to reach fair agreements with broadcasters that allow access to the TV programs you have come to love and expect to watch – with the goal of reducing the threat of blackouts or unreasonable monthly fees. Please stand with us as we fight for you.
For additional information on retransmission fees and case studies from other companies visit www.tvonmyside.com. TVonMySide is a collaborative effort of hundreds of local, independent Cable TV providers located throughout the country in communities like yours. By uniting our companies, we can work together to achieve more flexibility and better cable TV offerings for you at the lowest price possible.