Sinclair May Pull Stations From Mediacom

Poke

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Dec 3, 2003
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I can see more of this happeing nation wide where cable companies are chargeing folks to get their Locals in HD. When the cable company is pulling it in for free through a OTA and pushing it out to their customers. Local stations in most states will not like this since they send their information out for free. This is where Direct and Dish who pay for it will not be effected by this. To where folks on cable getting their locals in HD could be effected once this gets going. So folks on Cable get ready I can see this happening in every state where cable compaines are doing this..



Sinclair May Pull Stations From Mediacom
Thursday October 26, 3:29 pm ET
By David Pitt, AP Business Writer

Sinclair Broadcasting Threatens to Pull 22 Stations From Mediacom


http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/061026/apfn_mediacom_sinclair_dispute.html?.v=1

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- A federal judge's refusal to intervene in a contract dispute between Mediacom Communications Corp. and Sinclair Broadcast Group means cable television viewers of 22 stations in 12 states could suddenly lose their favorite channels.
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In Iowa, for example, Mediacom carries KDSM, a Fox TV affiliate in Des Moines owned by Sinclair. The station carries the popular "American Idol" and "The Simpsons."

If Sinclair carries through with threats to pull its 22 stations off Mediacom's cable system at midnight Nov. 30, cable viewers would be forced to go without the programs, buy a satellite dish system or try to get the signal from an antenna.

The same goes for KGAN, a CBS affiliate in Cedar Rapids, which carries "Survivor" and "CSI."

Mediacom has about 625,000 households that receive Sinclair's broadcast stations, court documents said.

U.S. District Judge Robert Pratt, in a ruling dated Tuesday, refused to stop Sinclair from pulling the stations from Mediacom systems.

In court documents filed on Oct. 5, Mediacom said Sinclair violated federal antitrust laws by forcing it to pay to rebroadcast 22 stations' signals when it was only willing to pay for rebroadcasting 13 stations.

The two companies have agreements dating back to 2002, but when Mediacom contacted Sinclair last year to negotiate transmission rights through 2008, Sinclair wanted money.

Sinclair said that since satellite carriers such as DirecTV and The Dish Network were willing to pay for retransmission of its stations, Mediacom should as well. The satellite carriers, operated by the DirecTV Group and EchoStar Communications Corp. respectively, compete with cable providers such as Mediacom.

After months of negotiations Sinclair informed Mediacom that it had entered an agreement with a satellite provider to rebroadcast its stations and that Sinclair would be paid extra for each customer that switched from Mediacom to the satellite provider.

KDSM was running a message to viewers on air Wednesday night that encouraged them to call DirecTV if they wanted to continue getting the station. It said viewers could get cash for switching from Mediacom.

Mediacom filed the lawsuit, seeking an injunction stopping Sinclair from carrying through with its plan.

Pratt ruled that Mediacom had not proven antitrust claims and that it would be "unlikely to succeed on the merits of its antitrust claim."

Sinclair officials called the lawsuit frivolous and said they expected to win in court.

"It is ironic that a near monopolist, such as Mediacom, would attempt to use the antitrust laws to gain an advantage against a single broadcaster like Sinclair," said David Smith, Sinclair's Chief Executive Officer, in a written statement. "We have negotiated in good faith with Mediacom in a manner consistent with our negotiations with other cable providers, and it is gratifying that a federal court has indicated that such negotiations are permissible."

Sinclair officials said they are willing to continue to negotiate with Mediacom.

Mediacom filed a notice of an appeal Wednesday, which said it will take the case to the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Mediacom spokeswoman Phyllis Peters said Thursday that the company has renegotiated agreements with 40 other broadcast stations in Iowa and in other states.

"We've always reached successful agreements. We bring something of value to the broadcasters, obviously they have programming of value that we want to get out to our customers, so it's a good relationship."

Peters said Mediacom offered an agreement that would compensate Sinclair at a fair market value equal to the value of agreements with other broadcast stations in Des Moines. She said some of the others even have more viewers.

"Is anyone asking Sinclair why they deserve more?" she said.

Court documents indicate the difference between Sinclair's asking and Mediacom's willingness to pay is about $1 million.

Peters said the judge's decision is one step in a continuing process.

"Mediacom is working to pursue all options that would protect customers from being held hostage by the type of station-tying and cost-raising practices Sinclair is demanding," she said.
 
SINclair tried this same s**t in Minneapolis with the WB (at the time) station. They don't have the HD feed on cable for the same reasons..they also tried to pull the WB feed
 
They do it in Columbus, Insight has their ABC and FOX HD but not WOW or Time Warner, and TW is directly across the street!

I think it's great, more satellite customers!
 
If this happens I would guess its going to really hurt Mediacom but seems both companies might be pushing each other around. I have never been a fan of Mediacom and thats a big reason I changed to Dish, I do still have basic cable and Internet from them other than the crappy picture quality, I guess it works.
 
Yeah they should pull it! Heck many cable compaines are doing this getting the local HD feed for free from at OTA. Then pipeing it out across their network chargeing customers for it. So it wont be long untill other follow and do the same thing which they should untill the cable compaines start paying a fee.
 
I can see more of this happeing nation wide where cable companies are chargeing folks to get their Locals in HD. When the cable company is pulling it in for free through a OTA and pushing it out to their customers. Local stations in most states will not like this since they send their information out for free. This is where Direct and Dish who pay for it will not be effected by this. To where folks on cable getting their locals in HD could be effected once this gets going. So folks on Cable get ready I can see this happening in every state where cable compaines are doing this..
From this and several other comments on this thread, I think it is important to point out that I have Mediacom and I do NOT pay extra for the local HD feeds. This is not a case where the evil cable company is getting something for nothing and charging customers for it. And we are not talking about the HD channels being pulled, but the basic analog channels.

My own opinion is that this is the big TV station owner trying to increase its cash flow at the expense of the consumer. Sinclair is the second biggest owner of television channels in the nation. Mediacom is one of the smaller cablecos. For Sinclair their potential loss is fairly small. The 22 channels they own in areas served by Mediacom only make up 3% of their viewership, while 50% of the areas served by Mediacom include a Sinclair channel.

Mediacom has offered to pay what they pay other broadcasters. This was refused. Mediacom has offered to pay what other cablecos pay in other areas. This was refused. I don't feel that customers in Iowa should have to pay higher cable bills just because the cableco that serves them isn't as big as a cableco in another area, which has more clout in dealing with Sinclair.

For myself, if Sinclair shuts off their signal tonite, I lose a Fox and a CBS channel. However, as of right now I have two CBS and two Fox channels. So I really don't care. Sinclair can go screw themselves. An article in today's Des Moine Register reports that Sinclair is lowering their ad rates by 25 to 40% as long as they are dark on Mediacom. Ad agencies are questioning if these are deep enough discounts for how many viewers they will lose. They are going to need a lot of Dish bounties to make up the difference.
 
At least for now, $inclair owned stations are on the Mediacom lineup in Iowa, however though, Mediacom in Iowa City has reached an agreement with the Quad Cities CBS affiliate, which will be added to the Iowa City lineup on Jan 2.

I'm not holding my breath that a deal between Mediacom & $inclair will occur.

In the state of Iowa, Mediacom is the largest cable provider having betwee 500,000-600,000 subscribers statewide (the DSM Fox affilate reaches all corners of the state via Mediacom), so while $inclair may not own alot of properties nationwide, their Fox signal in Des Moines, and CBS signal in Cedar Rapids, reaches the majority of Mediacom's Iowa subscribers.
 
Sinclair tried the same stunt in West Virginia after Charter Communications sold its operations to Suddenlink Communications. Sinclar Broadcasting decided that there was "no contract" with the new owners and demanded WCHS ABC 8Charleston and WVAH FOX 11 Charleston be removed from "rural" cable systems across Soutwestern West Virginia. . . . .

Well it backfired on them as WOAY ABC 4 in Beckley kept the local population on line with ABC-TV programing (WOAY had no problem with WCHS being on the local cable nor had any problems with Dish Network and DirecTV bringing in DNS). . . .

FOX was another matter as there is no FOX station in this area we lost FOX off of cable. Suddenlink made a deal to broadcast FOXNET. Sinclair was enraged and demanded FOX cut the signal off. FOX told Sinclair that this was a different DMA than the Chareleston-Huntington DMA and if Sinclair was unable or unwilling to provide FOX programing the cable comapny was legaly free to obtain it from another source.

Sinclair has wanted FOXNET pulled no earler or later than right before the first pitch of the All Star Game last July.

Sinclair wanted up front monthly payments as well, as a per subscriber fee for ABC and FOX. When the dust settled Sincalir lost as FOX Would not support them and we have a local ABC station anyway. . . .

Sinclair returned both stations to cable systems across Southwestern West Virginia. Adverstisers who thought they were going to be able to advertise across the vast part of the state were not happy with the pulling of the channels either.

And to put a final nail in Sinclair broadcastings coffin. WVNS CBS 59 which was a former FOX affiliate sunk a deal to provide a local feed of FOX network programing to the local cable companys to prevent this from happening again. The only requirment FOX had with the CBS affiliate was that the had to fill in the non network hours with local syndicated programing and produce a 30 minutes FOX news @ 10.

In short Sincalir broadcasting got its tail wacked in Southwestern West Virginia and will never be able to pull that sh*t again
 
At least for now, $inclair owned stations are on the Mediacom lineup in Iowa, however though, Mediacom in Iowa City has reached an agreement with the Quad Cities CBS affiliate, which will be added to the Iowa City lineup on Jan 2.

they're using the Sig viewed clause to carry it :)
 
To me it's ironic only because the original idea of CATV was to get broadcast channels to people who say, lived on the other side of a hill and were not able to get said signals. LOL.
 
Same thing is happening in the Oklahoma City area with both Sinclair AND Hearst Argyle.

1st, Fox refused to allow the local cable company, Cox, to carry their HD feed unless Cox paid them for every viewer. Not just every viewer watching the Fox HD feed but the SD viewers as well. Cox refused/

Then in October the same thing happened with the local ABC affiliate. Hearst Argyle demanded payment similar to what Sinclair was demanding and the result is that the ABC station ( KOCO )
has been pulled from the lineup and is available OTA only.
 
This is the whole reason I've switched to Dish. Sinclair and TWC in the Buffalo, NY area (as of now as far as I know) have not reached a deal to renew Fox broadcasting and will terminate December 31st. I'm not about to miss out on Fox broadcasting because TWC and Sinclair can't see eye to eye. I was a former DirecTV subscriber but it seems Dish is a better value. See ya TWC!
 
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Well, our idiot Sinclair ABC affiliate here is starting up AGAIN with the dire warning messages about Mediacom subs loosing their previous & irreplaceable programming on Jan 5th. I am SO glad that I STILL have a couple other ABC affiliates to choose from, so I DON'T keep having to sit through this crap! :rolleyes: :mad:
 
It is annoying when they keep running that banner at the bottom of the screen (especially when some of us watch OTA or off satellite). I just wish they settle it one way or the other.
 
They had trouble in Charleston WV with Dish Network about 2 years ago and had pulled ABC and FOX off the dish while praising Charter Communiations and DirecTV at the time. . . .

2 years later they had trouble with the new owners of Suddenlink Cable and were praising Dish Network and DirecTV. . . .

Sinclair Boradcasting just plays every one against each other to meet there needs. . . .
 
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