Monthly Archives: November 2015

ICYMI: “Free” TV Keeps Getting More Expensive

CBS Retrans, Reverse Compensation to exceed $1 billion

Washington, D.C. – The American Television Alliance (ATVA) today reacted to CBS Corporation’s third quarter earnings report, which details its reliance on skyrocketing retrans fees:

Retransmission consent and reverse compensation “were up 50% in the third quarter and are well on their way to exceeding $1 billion next year,” said CBS CEO Les Moonves (TV News Check, 11/3/15).

ATVA national spokesman Trent Duffy commented on CBS’s earnings report:

“CBS continues to bilk billions from TV fans for broadcast signals that are “free” over the air while other areas of its business decline.  Reverse retrans deals siphon resources out of local communities and line the pockets of CBS executives.  Meanwhile, local stations are cutting back newsroom budgets and laying off reporters.  According to the FCC, 32 percent of local TV stations ‘did not air a single minute of news programming.’

The CBS earnings call is a prime example of how broadcasters will continue to gouge TV fans until Congress steps in and stops the heist.  Washington has a duty to fix our broken video laws that rig the game in the favor of the big special interest at the expense of American consumers.  It is the reason why Congress directed the FCC to examine “good faith” negotiating rules and the brass knuckle tactics used by broadcasters that lead to higher fees and more TV blackouts.  Congress can no longer stand on the sidelines while TV fans are used as pawns and broadcasters gorge on outrageous TV fees.”

Retransmission Fees Have Risen 22,400 Percent In Ten Years:

In July, SNL Kagan reported that “retransmission consent fees are expected to climb to $10.3 billion in 2021, up from $6.3 billion in 2015.

This means that retransmission fees have skyrocketed from $28 million in 2005 to $6.3 billion in 2015, a 22,400 percent increase in ten years.


The American Television Alliance (ATVA) brings together an unprecedented coalition of consumer groups, cable, satellite, telephone companies, and independent programmers to raise awareness about the risk TV viewers face as broadcasters increasingly threaten service disruptions that would deny viewers access to the programs they and their families enjoy.

For more information about ATVA, visit our website. Follow us on Twitter @ATVAlliance.