FCC: Cable Op Average Retrans Payments Up $5 Million

FCC releases figures for 2014 showing annual per-sub fee increase of 43%

The FCC has released its latest annual basic cable rate report (the figures are for 2014), and found that the average retrans payments from cable operators to broadcasters had increased by almost $5 million, from $7,790,721 in 2013 to $12,715,686 in 2014, a 63% increase.

"On a broadcast station basis, the monthly fee per subscriber, per station (determined by reporting of primary standard definition channel s) was 75 cents in 2013 and $1.07 in 2014, representing an annual increase of 43%," the report said, from 75 cents in 2013 to $1.07 in 2014.

The FCC was required in the STELAR bill to survey for retrans payments.

The report found that the average monthly price for basic cable had risen 2.3% to $23.79, with expanded basic rates up 2.7% to $69.03. That compared to a 1% decline in general inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index.

The FCC said that expanded basic price rise compared to a compound ten-year average rate of increase from 2005 to 2015 of 4.8% vs. a 1.5% increase in the CPI.

But the FCC also found that the average price per channel for expanded basic decreased an average 1.8% to 46 cents. That is compared to 62 cents per channel a decade ago.

The FCC found that where cable operators were not subject to effective competition, the price increase was 3.3%, vs. 2% where there was such competition.

The per-channel price of expanded basic in competitive markets decreased 3.3% and by .6% in markets without effective competition, the FCC said.

To check out the full report, click here.