All TV providers negotiate with broadcast station owners for the right to offer their stations to our customers as a convenience. And although these stations are indeed available free over the air with a digital antenna, these stations still collect fees from all TV providers each month, called retrans fees. Retrans fees are climbing out of control: In 2006, they were only 6¢ of the average customer’s monthly bill, and are expected to soar to $7.40 per month by 2020.3
When TV stations don’t get TV providers to meet their demands for increased retrans fees, they threaten viewers with blackouts to get them to complain to their TV provider, leaving you without your favorite stations indefinitely. And when those demands are met, it results in higher prices for you.