Mediacom Communications filed an antitrust lawsuit against Sinclair Broadcast Group in the Federal Court for the Southern District of Iowa contesting Sinclair’s retransmission consent policies.
Mediacom Communications Corp. has filed an antitrust lawsuit against Sinclair Broadcast Group in the Federal Court for the Southern District of Iowa.
The lawsuit alleges that Sinclair violated the Sherman Antitrust Act by conditioning its consent to carriage of its stations in certain markets—such as Des Moines, Iowa or Mobile, Ala.—upon Mediacom’s payment for carriage of Sinclair’s stations in more than a dozen other markets. It claims :the ultimate result of this ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‹Å“tying’ of Sinclair’s stations would be to increase the price of cable television to consumers by millions of dollars.”
“Throughout our retransmission consent negotiations, Sinclair has insisted that all of its stations in our footprint be bundled in a single package without consideration to the differences in the markets of the various stations. We believe this all-or-nothing scheme violates antitrust law,” said Rocco B. Commisso, Mediacom’s chairman and CEO.
“We believe that Sinclair is holding our customers hostage in the Des Moines market in exchange for carriage of other stations in markets half a continent away. It is not fair to our customers who ultimately bear these costs and we have decided to draw the line by asking a federal court to stop these practices by Sinclair,” concluded Commisso.
Mediacom Communications is the nation’s ninth largest multichannel video provider.