BIA/Kelsey: Retrans Revenue Could Approach $5B By 2017

Fees Will Make Up Nearly 10% of Total Station Revenue in Five Years

Retransmission consent fees will account for nearly 10% of total local television station revenue by 2018, according to a recent report by research firm BIA/Kelsey.

In its  report, BIA/Kelsey estimated that gross retrans fees will more than double between 2012 ($2.23 billion) and 2017 ($4.69 billion), while the amount of those fees the local stations keep after returning a portion to their respective networks, will climb 68% from $1.4 billion in 2012 to $2.35 billion by 2017.

Also according to BIA Kelsey, retransmission consent fees will make up 9.5% of local stations’ total revenue, up from 6.5% in 2012.

Retransmission consent fees have become an increasingly important second revenue stream for local stations, BIA/Kelsey vice president and chief economist Mark Fratrik said in an interview. He added that the money from retransmission consent helps support investments in programming.

“It [retrans] helps them reinvest in programming, not only syndicated programming, but local news,” Fratrik said. “It makes them a more effective competitor against other media.”