FCC: Cable Op Average Retrans Payments Up $5 Million

Commission releases figures for 2014 showing annual per-sub fee increase of 43%
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The FCC has released its latest annual basic cable rate report—the figures are for 2014—and found that average retrans payments from cable operators to broadcasters had increased by almost $5 million, from $7,790,721 in 2013 to $12,715,686 in 2014, a 43% increase.

"On a broadcast station basis, the monthly fee per subscriber, per station (determined by reporting of primary standard definition channels) was 75 cents in 2013 and $1.07 in 2014, representing an annual increase of 43%," the report said.

The FCC was required in the STELAR bill to survey for retrans payments.

The report found that the average monthly price for basic cable had risen 2.3% to $23.79, with expanded basic rates up 2.7% to $69.03. That compared to a 1% decline in general inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index.

The FCC said that expanded basic price rise compared to a compound ten-year average rate of increase from 2005 to 2015 of 4.8% vs. a 1.5% increase in the CPI.

But the FCC also found that the average price per channel for expanded basic decreased an average 1.8% to 46 cents. That is compared to 62 cents per channel a decade ago.

The FCC found where cable operators were not subject to effective competition, the price increase was 3.3% vs. 2% where there was such competition.

The per-channel price of expanded basic in competitive markets decreased 3.3% and by .6% in markets without effective competition, the FCC said.

To check out the full report, click here.

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