Nexstar Reels In Retrans Dollars

Nexstar Broadcasting Group, the TV broadcaster that just said no to giving away for free its signals to cable operators, announced Thursday (Feb. 19) it expected to generate more than $75 million in revenue from retransmission agreements it reached in 2008. About one-third of the revenue will be realized in 2009.

The broadcaster, which owns or operates 52 TV stations, has renewed and reached new multi-year retransmission consent agreements with 179 cable operators, direct broadcast satellite providers and telcos.

In the first nine months of 2008, Nexstar reported $15.5 million of revenue from retransmission agreements, a 23 percent increase over 2007, contributing to the company’s overall revenue growth of 9 percent.

“In late 2005, Nexstar emerged as an industry pioneer in the negotiation of retransmission consent agreements,” said Perry Sook, chairman, president and CEO for Nexstar. “The original agreements, primarily three to four years in length, called for revenue to Nexstar of about $50 million over their term. In 2008, Nexstar reported that 47 percent of the contract dollars represented by the original agreements, or approximately $23.5 million, were up for negotiation. As such, the more than $75 million in revenue to be derived from the new retransmission consent agreements represents extraordinary growth over both the original agreements and the anticipated levels of renewal.”

Nexstar has several additional retransmission agreements up for re-negotiation this year.

“We expect further upside to the annualized run rate of our retransmission revenue stream in future years,” Sook said.

Nexstar is scheduled to report its 2008 fourth quarter and full-year financial results on March 5.