SNL Kagan revises projected 2020 retrans figure again, moves it up to $10.6B

SNL Kagan once again revised its projections for broadcast retransmission fees upward, pegging the total licensing cost to U.S. pay-TV operators to reach $10.6 billion by 2020.

A year ago, the analyst firm projected retrans to hit $9.8 billion by 2020; in October 2014, the projection stood at $9.3 billion.

Total retrans fees are projected to reach $7.7 billion this year, SNL Kagan said, up from $6.4 billion in 2015. By 2022, they'll hit $11.6 billion, the company added. 

SNL Kagan's projections call for the average TV station's monthly per-subscriber fee to grow from $1.40 this year to $2.21 by 2022.

The 38 percent spike in retrans costs over the next five years will undoubtedly fuel the ex parte filings of pay-TV lobbyists, who continue to seek regulatory relief from the FCC. 

However, SNL Kagan notes that by 2019, even with retrans compensation set to grow to $10.1 billion, the figure will only represent 18.7 percent of total programing costs for MVPDs, despite the fact that the Big Four broadcast networks still command the lion's share of viewing. 

Conversely, as SNL Kagan also noted, pay-TV consumers will be paying, on average, $1.87 per broadcast station per month by 2019. That will be more than they pay for all but three basic cable networks —  ESPN (projected to hit an average per-sub fee of $9.17 by 2019), TNT ($2.59) and Disney Channel ($1.88).

For more:
- read this SNL Kagan press release

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