Retransmission Negotiation Support Article and FAQs
Article Date: 6/30/2020
Great news... we have successfully avoided a blackout of KHON2 (FOX), KHII, The CW and getTV. Hawaiian Telcom has negotiated an agreement with Nexstar, corporate owner of these channels, allowing us to continue to carry them in our Hawaiian Telcom TV line-up.
We’ll always advocate for fair rates during these negotiations knowing that our costs ultimately affect what our customers pay for TV service.
Mahalo for being a loyal Hawaiian Telcom customer.
Retransmission Consent Overview & FAQs
WHAT ARE RETRANSMISSION CONSENT FEES?
Retransmission (or retrans) consent fees are the payments that Pay TV providers, like Hawaiian Telcom, make to broadcasters to carry their signals. If we do not agree on these fees, the national broadcast networks - ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox - can potentially pull their signals, resulting in channel blackouts for the customer.
Consumers should be aware that:
WHO ARE THE BIG BROADCASTERS?
- The rules governing retrans fees are part of the 1992 Cable Act.
- These rules were written at a time when most of us had only one choice for pay TV service and the Internet was still in its infancy.
- Today, we have a variety of ways to watch programming, but our video rules are still based on the old model of only one Pay TV provider.
The “Big 4” networks are ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX. They provide programming, such as morning and nightly national news shows, some daytime dramas, prime time programming, and late night shows. The programming is then shown by their owned and operated (“O&O”) stations or their local affiliated stations, like Nexstar (KHON2), Lilly Broadcasting (KITV) and Raycom (KHNL) here in Hawaii.
HOW DOES RETRANS LEAD TO BLACKOUTS?
Hawaiian Telcom wants to give our customers the programming they love. To do so, we either have to pay the increased fees networks demand for retransmission (which can adversely affect customers’ bills) or risk a network blackout.
WHY SHOULDN’T CUSTOMERS SWITCH TO ANOTHER PAY TV PROVIDER?
All providers at some point face the same kind of blackout threats. In fact, the American Television Alliance reports that in the last five years, 80% of TV markets in the U.S. have experienced at least one local broadcast blackout. All local TV service providers routinely engage in Retransmission Consent Negotiations with the “Big 4” networks as contracts typically expire every 3 years.