TV Negotiations and Rising TV Fees

  • Date: December 13, 2019
  • Author: Kent Schimke, CEO/General Manager

As a TV provider, we are subject to annual programming fee increases from programmers and network channel owners. Because of these programming fee increases, we must adjust our TV rates. We protect our customers by working with a national cooperative of TV providers negotiating fees and programming on our customers' behalf.

Our TV price increases are due to rising fees charged by large media companies that DRN must pay. We then share those costs with our customers. Unfortunately, it’s all about power: eight multi-billion-dollar corporations own or control nearly 90% of channels. As they continue to use their size and power to demand more money, we work hard to keep costs under control. To continue increasing their revenue, the large media companies require DRN to carry their less-popular networks as a requirement of providing the most popular ones. In addition, they use their size and market power to continually demand higher fees for their programming. More money from your pocket means more money in theirs.

DRN also negotiates with local broadcast channels, like NBC or ABC. Local broadcast channels are free over the air with an antenna, within a certain radius of a broadcast station tower. However, local stations charge cable operators high fees to provide their channels to you. And, the price continues to rise. If the local station’s fee demands are not met, they threaten to blackout their station and tell you to complain to us, your cable TV provider. You’re either left without your favorite shows, or you get a higher bill.

We are a local business. We are our own customers, too. This means we invest in our networks here, and are committed to serving you – our friends, families, and neighbors.

To learn more about channel negotiations and costs, visit