Nexstar: Retrans Consent Key to 2007 Revenue

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On the heels of recent retransmission consent victories, Nexstar  CEO Perry Sook vowed to be “right back at the trough” in the coming months.

Speaking at the Bank of America Media, Telecommunications and Entertainment Conference this afternoon in New York, Sook pointed out Nexstar’s $13.7 million in retrans cash in 2006 and $49 million over the last five years, and predicted a bigger windfall: “That’s without the telephone companies delivering TV service,” he said. “They’re just starting to talk to us.”

Sook said further retrans cash from cable operators will help the broadcaster attain a “flattish” 2007, without the Olympics or political advertising that buoyed 2006. Key retransmission contracts were due up “mid-next year,” he added, and he’s determined to hammer out more favorable deals for Nexstar’s signal.

Sook also cited the importance of “virtual duopolies” (operating agreements with independents) and a vigorous Web strategy, including Nexstar’s “Community of Communities” online portal, as linchpins in the company’s growth strategy.

Nexstar operates 49 stations in mostly medium-sized markets.

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