As various retransmission consent agreements came up for renewal with the New Year, DirecTV announced that it had completed new deals with six group owners. But negotiations with Northwest Broadcasting did not produce a contract and its stations are off DirecTV’s local-to-local service in four markets.
“Over-the-air television stations, such as KAYU spend a huge portion of their operating expense and capital investment to provide quality over-the-air signals. It is only fair to expect that if a cable company or satellite service wants to re-sell that signal to make a profit, that the broadcaster be fairly compensated for the use of their content. KAYU has asked DirecTV to pay them a small fraction of what they receive for re-selling our signal to DirecTV customers,” said a statement posted on the website of KAYU-TV (Fox) Spokane, WA, one of the Northwest Broadcasting stations. The others are in Yakima, WA; Medford, OR; and Binghamton, NY. Alla re Fox affiliates, plus a MyTV duop station in Binghamton.
DirecTV CEO Mike White accused Northwest of trying to force “unreasonable demands” on his company, charging that the broadcaster was demanding a 600% increase in retrans fees.
Meanwhile, DirecTV noted that it had successfully completed new retrans agreements with Hearst (see separate story), Granite, Gannett, Red River Broadcasting, KLAS-TV Las Vegas and Sarkes-Tarzian.
RBR-TVBR observation: It is not possible to say that a 600% increase is “unreasonable” if we don’t know what the dollar figures are. If that 600% merely brings a seriously undervalued rate up to current market levels it would not be out of order.