Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA) expects that it will generate $200 million in retransmission-consent fees from its NBC stations this year--an increase of about 400 percent compared to the fees it collected from cable operators and satellite TV providers in 2012, CFO Michael Angelakis said Tuesday.
Angelakis (Image source: Comcast)
Comcast generated a "miniscule" amount of retransmission-consent revenue in 2011, the year its acquisition of NBCUniversal closed, Angelakis said at the Morgan Stanley Technology Media & Telecom Conference in San Francisco. Last year, it posted about $40 million in retrans fees, he added.
But Angelakis said Comcast could generate much more than $200 million in annual retrans revenue as its contracts with affiliates come up for renewal over the next several years. CBS Corp. (NYSE: CBS) CEO Les Moonves said earlier this month that he expects CBS will collect $500 million in retrans fees in 2013, and Angelakis suggested NBC could generate similar levels of retrans revenue. "I don't see the huge delta. They [CBS] are just in a different period of their renewals," Angelakis said.
Comcast renewed its retransmission-consent deals and cable network carriage deals with about 25 percent of U.S. multichannel providers in 2012, Angelakis said. The company expects it will take four or five years to negotiate new contracts with the 75 percent of affiliates that haven't yet signed contract renewals that contain terms with increased fees to carry NBC stations and cable networks such as USA and CNBC, he added.
"Frankly we're behind some of our peers or competitors," Angelakis said, referring to Fox and CBS. "In order for us to catch up on the broadcast side, we have to go through contract cycles," he added.
NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke lamented about a "monetization gap" between NBCU's cable networks and rival programmers on Comcast's fourth-quarter earnings call. Angelakis said Tuesday that NBCU expects it will be able to increase both advertising and affiliate fee revenue from USA, CNBC, Bravo and SyFy. "We're going to get better CMPs [costs per thousand impressions] as we improve ratings, and also better affiliates as contracts come up," he added.
Comcast banks on rate hikes, cable modems, voice service to counter increased programming costs
Verizon signs multiplatform distribution deal with NBCUniversal
CBS expects 'significantly higher' retrans revenue in 2013
Angelakis: Comcast working with Verizon Wireless engineers to develop integrated products