TV networks are losing ad dollars, and now face the prospect of shrinking affiliate fees

A TV network executive did the verbal equivalent of a shrug in a recent conversation when asked how their business is doing right now. Like many media companies, the network’s advertising business has taken a hit. But the loss in money from advertisers has been softened by the money that continues to roll in from cable and satellite TV providers that pay an affiliate fee for each of their subscribers that receive the network. “The majority of our revenue comes from affiliate fees, which we still have. We’ve been buoyed by that, so we haven’t felt that much of an impact so far,” said the TV network executive. However, TV networks’ affiliate revenue safety net is at risk.

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