Perseverance can pay off. In a true reversal of fortune, a small IPTV carrier in rural Texas has turned the tables on the nasty (and expensive) retransmission fights that many operators are engaged in. Several high profile retransmission fights have been in the news of late, where local broadcast TV stations are demanding high per subscriber fees (some would say cold hard cash) to license their station feed to cable and telcoTV operators. But you’ve always heard the statement, ‘you don’t mess with Texas,’ and apparently in this context, it’s true.
River Valley Telecom and TV (RVTT) basically called the local broadcaster’s bluff and turned the fight on its head. They enlisted their subscriber’s help by informing and educating consumers that these rising retransmission fees translate to higher cable bills. They managed to organize actual protests and sit-ins at the broadcaster’s facility. Subscribers threatened boycotts of advertisers on the broadcaster’s station. It was just an amazing grassroots effort.
And in a remarkable reversal of fortune, the broadcaster has apparently agreed to pay RVTT a per subscriber fee. “We just came to our senses and realized the tremendous value RVTT is providing us. They deliver a sizeable audience. We just couldn’t look at ourselves in the mirror anymore and decided it’s only fair to pay them. Honestly, we’ve been fools,” said the broadcaster in a company statement. Something tells me RVTT executives will be sitting on a lot of panels at upcoming industry events.
Update: Glad to see so many people having fun with this April Fools Day joke. I think our industry could use a laugh every once in a while. Hopefully this story brought you one.