What do others say?

Don’t just take our word for it – read what others are saying about high programming fees and blackouts

Local broadcast stations

Cable Blackouts Growing More Common, Even If Subscribers Get Angry

Among media companies, “going dark” was once a matter of last resort. Now it’s an option that is seeing more light. If getting top dollar from Madison Avenue has grown more difficult, then media companies are forced to rely more heavily on the retransmission fees they get from cable and satellite operators. READ MORE

ATVA: Retransmission Battles Rage On, Record TV Blackouts in 2019 Already

The year is only a little more than halfway over, yet 2019 television blackouts already have reached the previous annual record, according to the American Television Alliance (ATVA). The year already has seen 230 blackouts in which broadcasters block video providers from carrying their content. The previous annual record was set in 2017. Last year’s annual total was 165. READ MORE

This is Why There Are More Network Blackouts Than Ever

Over the past few months, we’ve seen channels dropped across the cable, satellite, and streaming industries — most frequently local channels. While content disputes have happened across locals, sports, and entertainment — its locals and regional sports where the biggest disputes have occurred. And it comes down to costs, at least in terms of locals, for something that previously was free. READ MORE

CBS Stations Go Dark on DirecTV and U-Verse Platforms

CBS stations have gone dark on AT&T’s DirecTV and U-Verse platforms after the two sides failed to come to terms on a new carriage agreement. Stations in more than a dozen cities, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, and other major markets are impacted, affecting about 6.6 million viewers. READ MORE



Cable networks

A timeline of price hikes at YouTube TV, DirecTV Now and other vMVPDs

Here’s a timeline of price hikes – pieced together using data collected by UBS – that vMVPDs have instituted over the past year and a half. For many of the vMVPDs that began life as bargain alternatives to traditional cable or satellite, the pressure of programming costs and growing channel lineups have led to necessary price increases. READ MORE

Disney and Charter are talking about carriage fees, and the outcome could affect how much you pay for cable in the streaming era

Disney is set to renew its multiyear carriage agreement with Charter, the second-largest U.S. pay TV provider. But this particular Disney deal has widespread implications for how future TV carriage deals will be crafted. The outcome could lead to more contentious battles between TV providers and content creators, and perhaps stem the tide of rising cable TV bills. READ MORE




Why the NFL and NCIS give CBS the edge in its DirecTV carriage fight

As with most distribution squabbles, the network has all the leverage. DirecTV subs will bear the brunt of the blowback should fans fear they’re in any danger of missing out on the start of football season. READ MORE

The Sports TV Bubble Shows Signs of Weakness

Regional sports networks are are very expensive. They are a good part of the reason cable bills are so high. To cut down on those bills, many people are moving to so-called skinny bundles. These bundles often have ESPN and the major networks, but avoid the RSNs to keep costs down. Even dedicated sports fans seem willing to live without them. READ MORE

How Sinclair’s Purchase of Baseball Sports Networks Will Affect You

Sinclair will likely control distribution for 16 of the 30 major league franchises. That could pose problems for fans trying to watch their favorite team. More worrisome is Sinclair leveraging the RSNs with their other stations. Sinclair has a history of blackouts from when it attempted to utilize the same practices with its prior sports network, the Tennis Channel, resulting in customers losing local programming. READ MORE