Sinclair Settles FCC Investigation into Retransmission Negotiation Violations for $9.5 Million
The Federal Communications Commission announced that Sinclair Broadcast Group will pay $9,495,000 to resolve a number of Media Bureau investigations, including the Bureau’s investigation of allegations that Sinclair violated its obligation to negotiate for retransmission consent in good faith. The Commission’s retransmission consent rules, as mandated by Congress, forbid a broadcaster to negotiate jointly for one of its stations and for another station in the same market that it does not control.
In its investigation, the Media Bureau found that, over the course of seven months, Sinclair negotiated retransmission consent on behalf of dozens stations that it did not control at the same time that it was negotiating for its own stations in the same markets. In addition to agreeing to pay $9,495,000, Sinclair has agreed to implement a compliance plan aimed at ensuring no similar violations in the future. This action is the first of its kind to enforce the Commission’s long-standing retransmission consent rules. The settlement also resolves a number of other issues that had been pending for Sinclair-owned stations, and the Bureau has agreed to grant all pending Sinclair renewal applications as part of the settlement terms.
Sinclair Settles FCC Investigation into Retransmission Negotiation Violations for $9.5 Million Sinclair Pays $9 Million-Plus to Settle FCC Retrans Investigation (Broadcasting&Cable)