Giant broadcaster Nexstar Media Group weighed in on the fight CBS affiliates are having with FuboTV, saying it won’t accept below market rates from the streaming distributor.
Signals from CBS affiliates owned by Nexstar and other station owners have been replaced with a national feed from Paramount Global’s CBS on FuboTV. Virtual MVPDs like Fubo negotiate with the networks for retransmission of their stations.
Earlier this month, the CBS affiliate board said the agreement reached between CBS and FuboTV didn’t provide enough value for the affiliates and urged stations groups to reject the deal, which they did.
On earnings calls, senior executives from broadcasters including Sinclair Broadcast Group, E.W. Scripps and Gray Television earlier said they want to negotiate directly with vMVPDs. Nexstar is the biggest TV-station group in the country, owning or partnering with 200 stations.
On Nexstar’s earnings call Tuesday, president Tom Carter said “we firmly believe we should control our own destiny with regard to the virtual MVPDs instead of allowing the network to negotiate on our behalf.”
He said the proposed terms of the Fubo deal were “below market, and as a result CBS affiliate stations, including our own, remain off the air on that platform."
Carter said that vMVPDs represent about 10% of Nexstar’s broadcast distribution revenue. He said that deals with several vMVPDs are up this year. Also deals with CBS, including carriage of Nexstar’s stations on Paramount Plus, are up for renewal.
“The actions we have taken with FuboTV may or may not be representative of what we do elsewhere,” he said. “In line with our historical approach, we will not be accepting any deals that discount the value of the content our stations deliver to these platforms.”
Carter added that “given the lack of regulation in the digital world, it’s important that we remain united as an industry.” ■
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Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.