No surprises here. Earlier in the week news came out that ABC was looking for a share of the retransmission fees from affiliates. That train has left the station and whether it’s public yet or not, all the broadcasters are aboard. We’ve been saying for a while now that the biggest revenue growth opportunity for broadcast nets is retransmission fees.
CBS has already signed retransmission deals with many cable and satellite providers and sooner or later will have deals with all of them, which will bring in hundreds of millions for the network.
Moonves is pressing for non-owned and operated CBS stations to share their retransmission dollars with the network. Both networks and their station partners have been chasing distribution dollars from partners such as cable companies, but around the business there’s been a debate about who should get what share of that money. Moonves said, “As each new affiliate agreement comes up, there will be a sharing of the retransmission fees; it’s in the very early stages. There’s a realization that if they’re [affiliates] getting paid retransmission fees, they’re getting it because of network providing NFL, 60 Minutes and Letterman. We are working with the affiliates right now and most understand the situation and they’re talking to us about how we do this in the best possible way together.”