ABC is looking to get from its affiliates either 50% of their retrans monies or a flat license fee, whichever is greater, according to TVNewsCheck.
Furthermore, the network is also looking to become the entity that would eventually negotiate retrans agreements with operators on behalf of all ABC affiliates, the news story said.
The article, by veteran TV scribe Linda Moss, says ABC’s hard line has already driven away one small affiliate–in Macon, Georgia. In that case the station’s fees to ABC rose, over five years, to almost $500,000 annually.
One small market affiliate, speaking of ABC’s policy, told Moss, "I think it’s just a cash grab."
According to the article, "ABC is also seeking to eliminate the so-called ‘preemption basket,’ which allowed stations to preempt a certain amount of network programming a year without penalty, and is asking affiliates to ante up more to participate in the ABC NewsOne news exchange."
ABC made no comments to TVNewsCheck about its article, though the piece quotes a Disney executive as previously saying, "We strongly believe in our broadcast model, one that values both the power of network content and the relevance of local programming. We have strong, respectful relationships with our affiliates and our discussions focus on creating an equitable agreement for everyone involved."