Originally published: June 22, 2010
Last updated: June 22, 2010 - 4:05pm
CBS chief financial officer Joe Ianiello made it plain at an SNL Kagan conference last week: When it comes to retransmission consent, broadcast networks are taking the cake. And CBS wants every last crumb.
CBS is on track to generate about $100 million in retrans revenue in 2010, based on an average rate of 50 cents per subscriber per month. But Ianiello said at the SNL Kagan TV and Radio Finance Summit last week that total amount could grow exponentially — to as much as $250 million to $500 million over time as rates rise to $1 per subscriber and CBS gains an increasing share (upwards of 50%) of its affiliates' retransmission- consent fees. While that may not sit well with station-group owners, some of whom have resisted such overtures in the past, Ianiello said that it reflects the value that network content brings to local TV operations. And though the network could bypass the stations altogether by offering content to distributors directly, Ianiello said that would be leaving some ad revenue on the table.
"We want both," Ianiello said of advertising and retrans revenue. "People say, 'You want your cake and you want to eat it too.' Who wants cake and not to eat it?"
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