Nexstar inks a WOW! Deal


Wide Open West, which uses the acronym WOW!, is a cable/broadband company with five Midwestern system clusters, including Evansville, IN. It has signed a six-year retransmission agreement with Nexstar to carry both the analog and digital signals of WTVW-TV (Ch. 7, Fox) Evansville.

"Our agreement with Wow! highlights the industry’s growing appreciation of the value of the carriage rights for locally produced content and leading national programming," said Nexstar CEO Perry Sook.

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed. However, Sook had a lot to saw about how Nexstar has been building revenues from retrans. "Our first round of retransmission consent agreements was concluded early in 2006 resulting in significant incremental revenue. In 2007 retransmission consent revenue grew by 25% to $17.2 million compared with 2006. With 47% of the revenue related to the initial agreements to be re-negotiated in 2008 and 80% of the revenue related to those agreements to be re-negotiated before year-end 2009, we expect substantial growth in retransmission revenue," he noted.

RBR/TVBR observation: What may be most important for television group owners is that announcements like this are becoming somewhat routine – unlike 2006 when Nexstar was pulling its stations off local cable systems in knock-down-drag-out battles. The MSOs have, for the most part, adjusted to the new reality: They have to pay for content from local network affiliates, just like the satellite TV guys and the new broadband cable competitors do.