Today it was announced that CBS’s Affiliate Board had approved a new deal between Paramount, the parent company of CBS, and local station owners. This deal will give CBS permission to negotiate with streaming services like YouTube TV and FuboTV.
This new deal comes as Paramount and local affiliate owners have been fighting recently over a deal with FuboTV. Many locals said the deal was below market rate and refused to agree to it. Paramount responded by putting a national feed of CBS on FuboTV in markets that didn’t agree to the deal.
This deal also means CBS locals will stay on Parmount+. The catch is the deal is done in printable but still has to be fully approved by local station owners. For now, we will need to wait and see if it is approved or not, according to NextTV.
There is still a real possibility that this deal will not be approved by all the local affiliate owners.
Nexstar Media Group, Sinclair, E.W. Scripps, and Gary Television have announced that they want to cut out the middleman and negotiate directly to bring their locals to streaming services.
Nexstar’s President Tom Carter, during his earnings call recently, said, “we firmly believe we should control our own destiny with regard to the virtual MVPDs instead of allowing the network to negotiate on our behalf.”
This will likely lead to more blackouts as locals have argued the deals they got with live TV streaming services were too low. Nexstar and others have called the FuboTV CBS deal below market rates.
So this puts services like Hulu, YouTube TV, FuboTV, and more in a tough spot. First, agree to the demands of locals for more money and raise their prices or drop locals.
We have already seen services like YouTube TV make it clear they won’t be raising their price. Recently this unwillingness to pay more resulted in YouTube TV dropping the MLB Network. Now locals want even more money, and they are already some of the most expensive channels.
Look for the battles with locals to become more common. Over the next few years, many contracts with services like DIRECTV STREAM, YouTube TV, Hulu, and more are coming up for renewal. With local owners demanding a seat at the table now, these services have to negotiate with a long list of owners instead of just one company.