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UBS Media Conference: Disney Seeking Retrans in 2010

UBS Media Conference: Complete Coverage

The Walt Disney Co. expects to begin reaping in retransmission-consent cash from cable, satellite TV and telco operators and station groups in 2010, CEO Bob Iger told an audience at an industry conference Wednesday.

Disney, which owns broadcast network ABC as well as 10 owned-and-operated stations in some of the largest markets in the country, had reportedly been asking its affiliate stations for a cut of their retrans cash. But at the UBS Global Media and Communications conference in New York Wednesday, Iger said that come 2010--when a substantial number of retrans agreements expire--Disney will be asking for compensation from both affiliates and distributors.

"We are not in very active negotiations right now, but there will be negotiations coming up--significant ones--particularly in 2010, and I'm certain that retransmission consent is going to be on the table," Iger said. "We derive huge value from our stations and they derive huge value from our stations. Ours [stations] are market leaders, particularly in big markets [like] New York, L.A., Chicago and Philadelphia, for instance. We believe that ultimately we should get paid for the value we deliver. We have always looked at that value as part of the overall equation of what we sell various channels to these multichannel providers for, but I think there is probably going to be more of a focus on deriving specific value from retransmission consent for those stations. That seems to be a trend in the market place"

Asked if he was only talking about O&O stations and not affiliates, Iger said both.

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