Nexstar Predicts $48 million in Retrans Payments

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In a release outlining the effects of its quest to force DBS and cable operators to pay to carry their stations, Broadcaster Nexstar has offered a little information about how much money it expects to make. But the details are too skimpy to truly assess how much it’s really won, or whether its deals will set the pace for the rest of the TV industry.

Nexstar says that it expects to collect $48 million over the life of current three-to-five year agreements with cable, DBS operators and wireless cable in the 27 markets in which its operates. The annual revenue would account for a “low-double-digit” percentage of the company’s 2006 operating cash flow, which Bear, Stearns & Co. analysts estimate will total $78 million this year.

Interesting for Nexstar, but the company didn’t disclose enough information to see how significant it would be for the rest of the cable industry. For example, it’s not clear how much of that money is coming from DBS providers – who freely pay cash – and how much is coming from cable systems, who have fiercely resisted paying cash.

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