Iger Says He Wants Retrans Fees For Both ABC O&Os And a Cut From What Affiliates Get

Dec 9, 2009  •  Post A Comment

Walt Disney Co. will be asking for cash compensation from cable, satellite TV and telco operators and station groups that retransmit its programming in 2010, chairman Robert Iger said today at the UBS Global Media and Communications conference in New York, reports Multichannel News.

Iger told the gathering that when retrans agreements are renewed in 2010, "retransmission consent is going to be on the table .… We believe that ultimately we should get paid for the value we deliver. We have always looked at that value as part of the overall equation of what we sell various channels to these multichannel providers for, but I think there is probably going to be more of a focus on deriving specific value from retransmission consent for those stations. That seems to be a trend in the market place."

Iger said he was both looking for retrans fees for the ABC owned-and-operated stations and a cut from the retrans agreements the ABC affiliates make with other distributors.

— Allison J. Waldman


  1. My understanding is that cable, satellite and telcos are required by federal mandate to retransmit local stations. Why should they also be forced to pay fees for that?
    If you ask me, the owners/operators of these local stations should pay the cable, satellite and telcos for the privilege of supplying them with an audience.

  2. i agree with Jon above

  3. Under the must carry rule, yes, cable operators are required to carry local stations. Must carry was designed to protect local broadcasters from having to pay to be included on cable. But stations who have high ratings and a strong position in the market may opt out of must carry, and require retransmission consent. It has been this way for decades.
    While it is true that broadcast affiliates get the majority of their audience through cable and satellite systems, the inverse argument can also be made—how many people would subscribe to cable if they could not receive the major broadcast networks (especially in markets where they cannot receive them over the air)? Cable and satellite systems pay for other cable channels (ESPN, TNT, CNN, etc.). Why shouldn’t they pay for ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX?
    The big news here is that not only does Iger want money for retrans of ABC O&Os, but he also wants affiliate stations that Disney does not own to share their retrans compensation with Disney. This is a shift and another move in the eventual destruction of the local affiliate station.

  4. isn’t my cable bill high enough already?

  5. I typically don’t respond lying on web pages nevertheless you boast a quantity of high-quality comprehensible post.

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