In its effort to hold down rapidly rising programming costs, MVPD Verizon, which provides FiOS TV in competition with cable and satellite services, is seeking to pay channels in direct relation to their viewership.
The concept is simple – a channel’s worth should not be determined by which big sister channel it is bundled with when delivered by big programming outfits to MVPDs – it should be determined by how many subscribers actually watch the channel.
The plan Verizon is said to be looking at is one under which channels would be paid each time a subscriber spends at least five minutes watching its programming. Verizon would not be responsible to pay a fee on behalf of its subscribers who never use a given channel.
The Verizon story comes on the heels of Cablevision’s suit against Viacom which takes aim at the bundling practices of big programmers.
RBR-TVBR observation: This is what we’ve been talking about. Local broadcast stations remain among the most popular channels offered on MVPD systems. They are generally the only source of local news and information on an MVPD, and on top of that they provide much of the MVPD’s most popular entertainment and sports programming. We think they’d do just fine, thank you very much, being paid in direct relation to how much viewing they attract.