Posted on October 3, 2017

Retransmission Negotiations With TV Broadcasters

Every three years retransmission consent requires cable operators and other multichannel video programming distributors to obtain permission from broadcasters before carrying their programming. A broadcaster, such as ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC, may propose that the cable provider, such as Rainbow Communications, pay cash to carry the broadcaster's station or ask for any form of consideration to "retransmit" their signal to its customers. The cable provider may also refuse the broadcaster's proposal and not carry the broadcaster's programming.

This fall, Rainbow Communications will begin working with the above mentioned broadcasters to come to a mutual agreement to carry their stations through the years of 2018-2020.

Does Rainbow Communications have a choice to go through with retransmission? The FCC (Federal Communications Commission) provides local broadcasting networks with two options:  must carry or retransmission. Must carry means that Rainbow Communications must carry the channel on our lineup but are not charged a fee from the networks. Retransmission means that Rainbow Communications has the choice to carry the channel on our lineup but if we do we must negotiate a fee with the local broadcasters. 

How could this affect Rainbow customers? It is our intention to negotiate the best possible rate for our customers, but agreements reached between Rainbow Communications and broadcasters may affect your channel lineup and may possibly cause rate increases on your cable bill.

How may broadcasters respond? Negotiations may become quite competitive over the next month, be aware that broadcasters may use various 'scare tactics' against Rainbow Communications and other cable companies. For example, scrolling messages on local channels, etc.

How can customers keep up-to-date with negotiations? We will keep you up-to-date as these negotiations progress and will work toward a reasonable payment to these broadcasters, which will help us keep our video programming rates affordable. Negotiations may last until December 31st, but look for updates on our website.

For more information about retransmission visit