Entertainment FCC Fines TV Sinclair Broadcast Group Affiliated Stations $9M For Breach Of Good Faith In Retrans Negotiations With AT&T

07:36  29 july  2021
07:36  29 july  2021 Source:   deadline.com

Christine Sinclair scores as Canada opens Olympic tournament with draw vs. Japan

  Christine Sinclair scores as Canada opens Olympic tournament with draw vs. Japan After more than a year of pandemic delays, Canada’s women’s soccer team kicked off its Olympic tournament with a 1-1 draw against host Japan.In the 6th minute, Christine Sinclair converted her own rebound from in close after her first shot hit the post. It was the 38 year-old's 187th all time goal, adding to her all-time international goal scoring mark.

Sinclair pioneered the concept of the local marketing agreement (LMA) in American television in 1991, when it sold WPTT to its general manager Eddie Edwards (founder of Glencairn, Ltd., the Sinclair - affiliated licensee that would eventually become Cunningham Broadcasting ) in order to purchase fellow Pittsburgh station WPGH- TV to comply with FCC ownership rules of the time that prohibited duopolies levied a ,000 fine against Sinclair for illegally controlling Glencairn.[17] Sinclair became a publicly listed company in 1995, while the Smith family retained a controlling interest.

The nine station groups included in the complaint are Deerfield Media, GoCom Media of Illinois, Howard Stirk Holdings, Mercury Broadcast Group , MPS Media, Nashville License Holdings, Robert Media, Second Generation of Iowa and Waitt Broadcasting . Several of the stations affected AT & T is hoping that the FCC finds that each station has not negotiated in good faith , force them to the table, require forfeitures and anything else the commission deems appropriate. UPDATE: This story's headline was updated to reflect that Sinclair manages and controls, but does not own, these stations .

The FCC Wednesday announced fines totaling $9 million on 17 stations – or eight licensees – affiliated with Sinclair Broadcast Group for not negotiating retransmission consent agreement with AT&T in good faith.

The so-called Forfeiture Order imposed a per-station penalty of $512,228 against each defendant “for willfully and repeatedly violating the Commission’s good faith negotiation standards,” the FCC said. The negotiations dated back to 2019. In the case of only one defendant station, which showed “a demonstrable inability to pay,” it reduced the proposed forfeiture to $30,000.

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Retransmission consent agreements establish the fees TV stations charge video providers for rights to carry, or retransmit, their signals.

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About 5 million Dish Network subscribers lost access to 129 local TV stations operated by Sinclair Broadcast Group across the U.S. late Tuesday, in what amounts to the largest single TV blackout in history. Earlier this month the company filed a complaint with the FCC accusing Sinclair of violating the good - faith covenants of the FCC ’s retransmission consent rules. Dish said it intends to amend the complaint to include the allegations that Sinclair has tied the retrans talks to carriage of the unnamed cable channel.

Sinclair Broadcasting Group has agreed to pay a million fine for portraying sponsored TV segments as news coverage—and other violations—in the largest-ever civil penalty paid by a broadcaster in Federal Communications Commission history. The FCC announced the penalty FCC Chairman Ajit Pai resisted calls to go further, which means that Sinclair is in no danger of losing broadcast licenses. "Today's penalty, along with the failure of the Sinclair /Tribune transaction, should serve as a cautionary tale to other licensees seeking Commission approval of a transaction in the

The penalty follows a record $48 million fine the FCC hit Sinclair with in May in a civil penalty — the largest imposed on a broadcaster in the FCC’s history — to close three open government investigations, including of its conduct as it sought to acquire Tribune Media in 2018.

In the retrans case, the Commission found that the stations violated its standards by refusing to negotiate with AT&T and subsidiary DirecTV for retransmission consent,  “unreasonably delaying retransmission consent negotiations regarding the Defendant Stations, and failing to respond to AT&T’s proposals for the retransmission of the Defendant Stations.”

MVPD advocacy group the American Television Alliance applauded the FCC’s decision. “We are pleased that the FCC’s action sent such a strong signal that it will not tolerate broadcasters’ bad-faith conduct, especially when their behavior leads to needless TV blackouts that are harmful to American consumers,” said ATVA spokesperson, Jessica Kendust.

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DRC: Despite the oppositions, the process of designating the future members of the Ceni continues .
© CC / Wikimedia Commons Kinshasa, a general view (image of illustration). In the DRC, despite the manifestations of citizen movements, the opposition of Lamuka from Martin Fayulu and the FCC of Joseph Kabila, as well as the Division of Religious Confessions, the National Assembly intends to continue and complete the process of designation of Future members of the Independent National Electoral Commission (Ceni).

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This is interesting!