Mediacom, Sinclar End Dispute

Feb 2, 2007  •  Post A Comment

Mediacom Communications and Sinclair Broadcast Group today ended their bitter retransmission dispute, agreeing to a pact that restored TV signals for stations in 12 states in time for the Super Bowl.

The companies provided little detail of the agreement, other than saying that stations dropped Jan. 5 were being restored immediately.

Commissioners of the Federal Communications Commission had been reviewing Mediacom’s appeal of the FCC’s Media Bureau’s rejection of Mediacom’s complaint. The company had claimed that Sinclair wasn’t negotiating for consent in good faith but there were strong indications that commissioners were about to turn down the appeal.

The Mediacom/Sinclair fight was over retransmission issues resonating through the broadcasting industry.

Broadcasters argue that cable providers retransmitting their over the air signals, should pay for video programming from cable channels. Cable providers argue that the signals are available over the air in the market, and that they shouldn’t have to pay or pay much for signals viewers already can receive.

The debate has become more complicated as broadcasters seek to ensure new secondary digital channels also get carried.