CABLE TV: WHERE DOES MY MONEY END UP?
Over 60% of your cable TV bill is passed directly on to programmers. In 2021, your dollars will go mostly to:
Nexstar Media Group, Inc.: Headquartered in Irving, Texas, Nexstar is a publicly traded company and the largest local broadcast television group in the U.S. They operate 197 TV stations serving 115 markets or approximately 63% of all U.S. television households. They had a record financial year in 2019, with net revenue of $3 BILLION (an increase of nearly 10%, with most of the growth from “distribution fees” charged to cable companies). Nexstar’s CEO received a compensation package worth about $16.4 MILLION in 2019. Nexstar owns KXMD, KSVI, KHMT, and KXMA.
The Walt Disney Company: Also publicly-traded, this famous worldwide entertainment company owns ESPN and a majority share in A&E Networks, Lifetime, ABC, and other programmers. They also own a 60% interest in the Hulu streaming service. The company’s 2019 net income was over $11 BILLION, and their CEO was paid $47.5 MILLION. Disney has also acquired many of the FOX cable networks (FX, National Geographic, Fox Sports and more).
Cowles Montana Media: Based in Spokane, the Cowles’ broadcasting division spans markets from Washington to eastern Montana, and they are also involved in forestry and paper manufacturing, print media, real estate, and insurance. They own KFBB, KULR and related stations.
Scripps Broadcasting: Another publicly traded company, the E.W. Scripps Company based in Cincinnati, Ohio, seeks to become the nation’s largest TV broadcaster by reaching 73% of U.S. TV households in 76 markets with its latest acquisition of ION Media. Their 2019 net income was $66 MILLION and their CEO was paid $4.3 MILLION. They own KTVQ, KTGF and KRTV.
Gray Television: Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, Gray Television owns KUMV and KXND along with stations in 90+ other TV markets. They are publicly traded, with net earnings of $127 MILLION in 2019. Hilton H. Howell, Jr., Gray’s CEO, received $8.7 MILLION in total compensation in 2019.
Turner Broadcasting: Founded by Ted Turner and based in Atlanta, the company is now part of AT&T’s WarnerMedia conglomerate and operates versions of core Turner brands like CNN, TNT, Cartoon Network, Boomerang and TCM in countries across the globe.
NBCUniversal: A product of mergers of NBC Studios and Universal pictures, NBCUniversal is owned by Comcast Corporation. Comcast’s net income for the 12 months ending June 30, 2020, was $11.514 BILLION.
FOX: Fox Corporation is a publicly traded mass media company headquartered in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. It is owned by the Murdoch family with Rupert Murdoch as chairman. The family’s net worth is estimated at $17 BILLION.
Discovery Networks: Discovery is a multinational mass media company based in New York City. They purchased several former Scripps networks (Food Network, HGTV and others) in 2018. The company had a net income of $2.2 BILLION in 2019.