The retrans front has been relatively quiet of late, but some storms appear to be brewing for the coming months. Last month, while receiving his Broadcaster of the Year award, Nexstar boss Perry Sook challenged the networks to work with him on retrans.
“I struggle to understand why certain networks all of a sudden feel that they are entitled to a piece of this revenue when they had no hand in the negotiation, documentation and collection of it,” he said, likening such behavior to “the bully on the playground.”
Late last week, News Corp. chief Rupert Murdoch told shareholders he wants a taste of the profit cable and satellite operators get from Fox content, both at the network and station level.
The CEO said cable and satellite operators need to pay News Corp. “a small portion of the profits” they gain from offering the Fox network.
The model does not appear to be novel. News Corp. would seek retransmission consent fees from all distributors to carry the Fox-owned local stations. And the company has some leverage — owning the Fox outlet in nine of the top-10 markets.
“We realize this is going to be a tough challenge,” he said. “And we’re determined to take a leadership position in creating an economic template for the future.”