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Negotiating Retransmission Fees

Webster-Calhoun Cooperative Telephone Association like many other TV providers is once again, in 2020, facing rising retransmission fees for local broadcast channels. These rates will only affect WCDTV television customers.

What are Retransmission Fees? Every three years TV providers are required by law to receive permission from local broadcasters to retransmit the free over-the-air signals from ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX to customers.

This programming is free to you over an antenna. If it is carried on WCDTV it makes it very convenient for you to view it like any other channel on our lineup.

The rate for broadcast channels is itemized on your billing statement so you can see exactly how much of your TV package is passed through JUST for these networks. The contracts are renegotiated every 3 years and affect the annual rates during each of those 3 years. Retransmission fees come from a decades-old federal law that allows local broadcast stations to charge cable and satellite companies, such as Webster-Calhoun, to carry their programming on our channel lineup.

How does that impact my TV rates? Although Webster-Calhoun will do our best to negotiate fair rates there are many challenges. One thing remains consistent in that when rates from channel providers continue to increase so do the rates for WCDTV channel packages. This is a no-win situation for ALL TV customers. If WCCTA says no to high rates and drops the channels customers are frustrated. When rates go up customers are frustrated.

Why do I have to pay for channels I never watch? Just eight multi-billion-dollar corporations own or control about 90% of existing TV Networks - both those you want as well as those you don't. And they won't let you have the most-popular Networks unless you get the less-popular ones, too. In turn, if we ask for a price for just the most-popular Networks, a common response from Network owners is to raise their price, effectively eliminating this option from consideration.


Webster-Calhoun Cooperative Telephone Association provides Landline Telephone, Digital TV and Internet service to 16 rural communities on a Fiber driven network just outside the Fort Dodge, Iowa area: Pilot Mound, Boxholm, Lanyon, Paton, Churdan, Farnhamville, Gowrie, Somers, Moorland, Knierim, Barnum, Clare, Thor, Badger, Vincent, and Duncombe. WCCTA is Gigabit Certified and designated a Smart Rural Community by NTCA: the Rural Broadband Association.

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