Network Negotiations

Fees to Networks and Station Owners

Watch this video to see how broadcasters use their size and power to control pricing

Visit the American Television Alliance website

Many people think that we are ‘gouging’ them with price increases, but the truth is that Service Electric is doing everything we can to control prices, which are skyrocketing because of fees beyond our control. Each year, Service Electric and our cable cooperative negotiate agreements with networks and local broadcast stations to help us control pricing. You may not be aware that…

  • Using old legislation from the 1990’s, networks continue raising prices, forcing Service Electric to constantly renegotiate to keep their channels.
  • Networks threaten “blackouts” of their programming if we cannot arrive at an agreement, then blame us for not giving in to their outrageous demands. Service Electric is willing to keep networks on the air until we reach an agreement, but they decide whether to black out channel(s).
  • The bulk of your cable bill goes to Network, Broadcast and Sports TV channels. Service Electric tries to minimize that through negotiation.
  • Service Electric pays a fee to Networks and Station Owners per channel, per month, per customer.
  • Service Electric evaluates every channel in our lineup each year to offer more choice at the best value.
  • Service Electric is often able to negotiate increases that are a fraction of what the Networks demand, keeping that money in your pocket.
  • The cost of sports programming has increased exponentially since the 1990’s – costing more than $15.4 billion in 2023. (SEE DETAILS)

See how retransmission fees have gotten out of control

Make No Mistake… Media Giants Control Pricing

There are 6 media giants that control 90% of the Networks, and they are constantly using their size and power to demand more money from Service Electric and you, our customer. These media companies are:

  • Comcast (NBC, Universal, Xfinity, Focus Features)
  • Walt Disney Company (ABC, ESPN, Pixar, Marvel, Hulu, FX, FXX)
  • AT&T (WarnerMedia, DirecTV, HBO, New Line Cinemas)
  • Viacom CBS (CBS, Showtime, MTV, Nickelodeon, Paramount)
  • Sony (Sony Pictures, Columbia, TriStar, Sony Music)
  • Fox (Fox, Fox News, Fox Sports)

Your cable bill basically consists of three things: Network Fees, Cost of Service, and Taxes; with the Network Fees being the most significant. Our Cost of Service fees allow us to improve and maintain infrastructure, provide customer service, and keep our lights on and our support staff working.