Local Broadcasters Demand More and Offer Less to TV Customers

Local broadcasters demand more and offer less to TV customers. Female relaxing at home in evening and watching TV

The local ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC broadcasters are demanding more and offering less to TV customers as Alliance Communications engages in contract renewal discussions. The outcome of these negotiations will impact your TV bill and your channel lineup.

“I don’t know where these negotiations will end up,” said General Manager/CEO Ross Petrick. “We’re almost certain that Alliance and our customers will either be paying more for these channels, or we’ll be watching them with an antenna or streaming app. I hope we can come to an agreement on the rates, terms, and conditions so these channels can remain on our line up.”

Alliance’s existing Nexstar contract for KELO-CBS expires on Dec. 1, and our Gray Media contract for KSFY-ABC, KDLT-NBC, and Fox expires on Dec. 31.

If history repeats itself, these proposals could include large price increases, which will ultimately be passed on to Alliance’s TV customers. And just like in past years, you might have to pay for less viewed channels to receive the main broadcast channels. Even if we come to an agreement, we think any “all-or-nothing” terms go against the ala carte options we want to offer you.

“We’re fully prepared to pay a fair price for programming. However, if a TV broadcaster demands all-or-nothing terms and significant rate increases, we think it’s our responsibility to present them with our request for reasonable rates or increased viewing options,” Petrick said. “I can’t recall any ala carte or middle ground options ever offered or accepted in the past. As a result, customers are forced to either pay for all channels or drop cable TV service.”

We understand affordability could be a concern for you. Alliance encourages you to explore alternatives to cable TV by visiting gostreamnow.com/alliance.

Frequently Asked Questions

Could customers potentially lose KSFY-ABC, KELO-CBS, KDLT-NBC, and Fox?

Every three years, we’re required to check in with broadcasters to see if we must carry their network for free or if they’ll demand payment for the retransmission of their signal on our network. Just like during the DirecTV and KELO dispute this past year, sometimes operators and broadcast owners don’t agree on terms and conditions. Station owners or cable TV providers often pull their signal from the channel lineup rather than continuing with current terms. If this happens, you may see a temporary or permanent loss of a channel(s).

If one of these channels is no longer available, is there another way that I can access its programming?

Signals for the local broadcast TV stations are available for free with an antenna within a certain distance from their towers. Most broadcast TV stations also make their local newscasts and other local programming available on their websites and apps. The major broadcast TV stations (ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC) typically make most series available for free online often with little delay. YouTube TV, Paramount+, and other streaming options have local channels, and many NFL games are moving to streaming services, too. To check out alternatives to cable TV, visit gostreamnow.com/alliance.

Why won’t you just pay what they’re asking?

We’ll work toward an agreement that doesn’t burden you with excessive price increases or limited viewing options. Also, some viewers don’t watch local broadcast channels. However, in most negotiations, we must charge all customers for the channels, or we won’t receive access to them. Ultimately, we’re trying to keep rates low for those who watch the local channels and those who don’t – but still must pay for them.

I pay a lot for my TV service. Can’t you use that money to pay for this increase?

Rising programming and retransmission costs impact ALL video providers and increase customers’ TV bills every year. At Alliance, we strive to keep future price increases to a minimum by negotiating directly or with large consortiums to get a better bulk rate. Currently, 100 percent of the retransmission fee is remitted to the local broadcasters, so we have applied any rate increase directly to this fee.

Should I switch to a streaming TV service?

It seems strange to promote a service that isn’t ours, but you may find lower rates and more viewing flexibility online. We encourage you to explore alternatives to cable TV by visiting gostreamnow.com/alliance. Alliance’s 100 percent fiber-optic network and Ultimate Whole Home Wi-Fi will give you a wonderful viewing experience if traditional cable TV is no longer the best option for your household.

For more details on Alliance’s retransmission consent negotiations, visit TVOnMySide.com. Contact us with questions by dialing 611 from any phone with Alliance service or (605) 582-6311 from your cell phone. We also encourage you to contact your local broadcast channels and your congressional representative to learn more about why these rates keep increasing.

Skyrocketing Retransmission Fees

A gallon of milk cost approximately $3.25 in 2010. Today, it costs around $3.80, an average annual increase of 1.4% from 2010 to 2022. During that same period, local TV station fees increased EVERY year by an average of 24%.* If a gallon of milk increased at that same rate, it would cost $42.38 today.

*American Television Alliance 2022