Local TV Stations

Why Do You Pay for Free TV Stations?

Local TV Stations

Retransmission consent, or local TV station fees, are the payments that providers such as Frontier pay in order to include the stations in your lineup.

  • Retransmission Consent is a provision of the 1992 Cable Act that requires TV providers to obtain permission, or "consent," from each of the stations in order to carry it.
  • This law states that all TV providers must negotiate a fee arrangement with station owners who opt for retransmission consent in order to carry a local broadcast station.
  • This law was written at a time when TV viewing choices were limited, and the internet was in its infancy.
  • When TV providers don’t meet their demands for hefty retransmission fees, station owners threaten viewers with blackouts.

Retransmission Fees Are Expected to Increase Dramatically

TV stations are demanding ever-increasing fees – which result in higher prices for you. To help you better understand the amount you pay each month for local TV stations, we have broken them out as a “Broadcast Station Fee” on your bill. According to industry analyst SNL Kagan, these “retransmission fees” have skyrocketed from $200 million in 2006 to $10.2 billion in 2018.

How Disputes Happen

How TV Providers Support Local TV Stations

TV stations use the public's airwaves, which they get at NO cost. A station’s signal gets weaker with distance and obstacles; carrying TV stations on our lineup makes up for this poor reception, thereby expanding the station’s reach to more homes and increasing their ad revenue. About 90% of TV households receive TV stations via TV service providers like Frontier – and yet station owners still force us to pay retransmission fees.