The time has come once again for multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs) to begin negotiations with programmers over retransmission agreements. JSI expects programmers to demand significant rate increases and control of digital content rights. Programmers must elect either must-carry or retransmission consent by October 1. Agreements set to expire this year must be completed by the end of 2017 (unless both parties agree to an extension) or the MVPDs must drop the channels from their lineups.
These negotiations can be contentious and time consuming, but you don’t have to go it alone. JSI is pursuing commitments from broadcasters to negotiate with video client groups, but we would like to gauge client interest in participating in such groups for various broadcasters. JSI will be pursuing group negotiations with broadcasters including Cunningham, Drewry, Gray, Hearst, Hubbard, Meredith, Nexstar, Raycom and Sinclair. Some programmers already have expressed an interest in working with JSI.
In the previous negotiation cycle in 2014, JSI assisted a group of more than 40 companies. The group negotiation netted discounts for group members exceeding what would have been achieved through individual negotiation.
JSI requests feedback from any video providers that are interested in participating in established negotiation groups in this cycle year or that would like more information on the negotiations. These groups will negotiate renewals for retransmission agreements expiring by year end and will create new retransmission consent terms over the next two to three years. In our pursuit, it will be important for us to represent the markets in which our video provider clients operate and the approximate number of subscribers that will be represented. In your correspondence, please indicate the DMA markets in which you operate and the number of subscribers that you have. We will not be disclosing any company-specific or identifying information, but will need to have a range of markets and subscriber numbers over the entire group.
To join one of the negotiating groups or to receive additional information, please contact Terri Parrilla or Kim Waldvogel in JSI’s Maryland Office at 301-459-7590.