SNL Kagan Projects U.S. Retrans Fee Gains


MONTEREY: By 2022, U.S. TV station owners will receive $11.6 billion in retransmission fees from multichannel operators, according to SNL Kagan.

U.S. retrans fees hit $6.4 billion last year and are set to reach $7.7 billion this year, a 20-percent gain. SNL Kagan observes that while retrans fees are gaining, including annual increases in dollar-per-subscription rates, margins are under pressure. This is a result of increased network programming expenses impacting station owners’ affiliation renewal contracts. Major affiliate station group owners will send back $2.1 billion to the major broadcast networks in 2016, up 36 percent from an estimated $1.5 billion in reverse retrans fees in 2015.

The average TV station’s retrans fee per subscriber per month is forecast by SNL Kagan to increase from $1.40 in 2016 to $2.21 by 2022. By 2019, the average fee will be $1.87, putting TV stations above almost all basic cable networks in terms of affiliate fees per subscription per month. The three basic cable networks expected to receive more per sub per month are ESPN ($9.17), TNT ($2.59) and Disney Channel ($1.88).