ICYMI: Skyrocketing Retrans Fees Drive Record Profits for Broadcasters

Washington, D.C. – The American Television Alliance (ATVA) today reacted to earnings announcements from broadcasters including Nexstar Media Group, Gray Television, Sinclair Broadcast Group and Fox, which each announced massive retransmission consent revenue increases: 

Nexstar Media Group: “Revenue at Nexstar was up 1.8% to $626.6 million in the quarter, a record for the broadcaster. Driving those increases was a 14% rise in retransmission consent revenue to $314 million,” [Multichannel News 5/8/19].

Gray Television Inc.: “Retransmission consent revenue increased $42 million, or 26%, to $204 million,” [Yahoo Finance 5/8/19].

Sinclair Broadcast Group: “Distribution revenue, which includes retransmission consent fees and affiliate fees from its cable networks, was up 12% to $352 million in the quarter, compared to $314 million in the first quarter of 2018,” [Multichannel News 5/8/19].

Fox: “…chalked up the revenue gain to affiliate and advertising revenue growth of 11% and 9%, respectively. Driving those gains was a 29% jump in retransmission consent revenue and a 10% increase in TV advertising revenue. A 35% increase in “other” revenue derived from digital content licensing, the company said,” [Deadline 5/8/19].

ATVA spokesman Trent Duffy commented on the massive increases in retrans fees: “The broken retrans regime is quite the racket, and it’s gotten a lot worse in the last decade. Broadcasters have weaponized TV blackouts, deliberately targeting live sports and other must-see TV. Congress should take the opportunity to reauthorize STELAR and examine this broken and outdated system that favors broadcasters at the expense of consumers.”  


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.

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