Gray President Urges Stations to Unite Against Nets’ Efforts to Get Chunk of Retrans Revenues

Nov 9, 2009  •  Post A Comment

Gray Television President Robert Prather called for station groups to form a "united front" versus the broadcast networks over retransmission revenue, according to B&C

Prather, speaking during Gray’s third-quarter earnings call, said most of Gray’s affiliate agreements are in place through 2013 or 2014, but added that he was carefully watching the retransmission clashes play out with other groups.

The report said, "Networks and their affiliates entering heated negotiations about splitting retransmission spoils from subscription TV is an emerging issue this earnings season. Addressing investors last week, Belo President/CEO Dunia Shive said, "I don’t think there is any secret that the networks look for some sort of a reverse payment from the affiliate. As for ABC, I can’t get into specifics because we’re in the middle of negotiations."

Prather urged station groups to work with their affiliate boards and the TVB to combat the networks’ demands for retransmission cash that station groups claim they’ve been able to get through their own tough negotiating with cable operators, B&C said.

–Tom Gilbert

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