Everyone (particularly retrans reform focused ACA) is concentrating on SNL Kagan’s estimate that retransmission fees will rise to $1.2bln in ’11 from an estimated $738.6mln this year. But what else does Kagan’s crystal ball forecast?

 
There’s some further disturbing news inside Kagan’s report for cable ops. Projections show that DBS providers pay the majority of retrans fee income to broadcasters, but that balance could shift to fees from cable MSOs by next year, Kagan said. For ’09, it estimates that cable will be responsible for $315mln of the estimated $738.6mln in retrans fees, while DBS will shell out $352mln. Telcos will pay about $71mln.
 
Satellite has long held the distinction of paying the most for broadcast, but as more and more station groups hold out for cash, cable has had to open the coffers. Remember when MSOs used to shout from the rooftops that they don’t pay for carriage? Hear much of that these days?
 
As for who pays the most, it shouldn’t be too surprising that larger markets cough up more for retrans. Kagan says that 62% of the projected ’09 retrans revenue (or $455mln) is estimated to come from the top 25 markets.  

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