Monday, July 18, 2005

Nexstar and Cable Ops Face Off

Looks like we have not even seen the beginning of Nexstar's fight to make cable operators pay to re-broadcast its station's signals. In an article in USA Today, Nexstar Chief Operating Officer Duane Lammers says, ""We're going to a subscription-based world. Why shouldn't we be paid for content just like everybody else?"

The article says, "Most of the cash demands this year will likely come from non-network owners of affiliates. Early this year, Cable One and Cox Communications had to drop six ABC, NBC and CBS affiliates in towns such as Shreveport, La.; Abilene, Texas; and Joplin, Mo. The cable firms rejected demands from the stations' parent, Nexstar, for a per-subscriber fee of 30 cents a month for each channel."

The article continues," Both sides are making the most of the skirmish. Nexstar commercials urge viewers to defect to satellite. Cox and Cable One gave away antennas and switches so customers can toggle between cable and over-the-air services. Nielsen ratings show an audience drop of up to 50% for Nexstar stations, Multichannel News reported. Nexstar's Lammers disputes that and contends the cable systems lost up to 20% of their subscribers to satellite. The cable companies say the figure is lower. "

Programming Chief for Time Warner Cable Fred Dressler says, "Even Time Warner is facing cash demands from Nexstar and Sinclair in larger cities such as Kansas City and Minneapolis. "We have intention to remove our stations in all markets if we have to," says Lammers of Nexstar, which owns or operates 46 TV stations in 27 markets.

Dressler retorts, "If they are hellbent on getting cash, then we are hellbent on disaster."

Read the complete article HERE.

Nexstar is the parent company of KARK and KTAL.


At 1:47 PM, July 18, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know Gannett and Allbritton are eagerly awaiting the outcome. Once Nexstar does all the heavy lifting you know they'll follow.

If the subscriber rate for Comcast in Little Rock is say 50,000. (probably a bit on the low side) then each month Nexstar would make $15,000 or $180,000 a year. Not a large chunk of change for one market but with many stations in many markets it will add up to millions of dollars quickly. Millions of dollars the stations and owners won't have to work for. Ratings will not matter when it comes to the retrains agreements. As cable grows so will the profits for the broadcasters.

At 2:45 PM, July 18, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

CBS leader Les Moonves has said his network fully supports Nexstar in this matter. This is especially important to local stations considering they are no longer being paid by the networks to carry network programming.

At 1:05 PM, July 19, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Comcast is stupid enough to let our NBC station go, I'm subscribing to DirecTv or Dish. I should probably go ahead a do it anyway.

At 7:41 AM, July 20, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And all the other stations will thank you. Because they'll get a cut for every new subscriber to Dish or Direct TV.

At least the satellite guys tell you up front it will cost an extra 5 bucks to get the locals.


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