Without retrans deal, the TV station group said it expects the cable operator will stop carriage of Sinclair stations tomorrow at midnight. A press conference is scheduled for tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. ET.
Sinclair Broadcast Group announced this afternoon that retransmission consent negotiations with Mediacom Communications Corp. are not likely to result in an agreement on how much Mediacom should pay to carry Sinclair TV stations.
As a result, the Baltimore-based station group said, it expects Mediacom to discontinue carriage of a number of its stations (see below) tomorrow just after midnight—12:01 a.m. on Dec. 1, to be exact.
Sinclair also scheduled a press conference via telephone tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. ET to discuss the matter.
“Although the parties have recently engaged in negotiations, we are resigned to the fact that these negotiations likely will not result in an agreement being signed,” said Barry Faber, Sinclair’s VP and general counsel, in a prepared statement.
“We had certainly hoped that Mediacom would see the benefit in continuing to provide the great programming carried on these stations to its subscribers, but unfortunately Mediacom’s valuation of this benefit was different than was Sinclair’s.
“We sincerely regret any inconvenience to our viewers, but do not believe it is fair for Mediacom to use these stations’ programming to attract and retain subscribers without paying what we believe is adequate compensation.”
Sinclair CEO David Smith said he is confident that viewers who want to watch the Sinclair stations will find a way to do it. “We understand that consumers in the affected markets are already taking steps to avoid any disruption in service by subscribing to an alternative video service provider or by arranging to receive the impacted stations’ signals via free over-the-air reception.”
Sinclair is offering to pay new subscribers to DirecTV a rebate of either $150 or $100 in most of the impacted markets. This offer, which was originally scheduled to terminate on Dec. 1, 2006, has been extended to subscribers who sign up by Dec. 31.
The affected stations (with affiliation) and DirecTV rebate offer:
KDSM Des Moines, Iowa (FOX)—$150KGAM Cedar Rapids, Iowa (CBS)—$150WEAR/WFGX Mobile, Ala.-Pensacola, Fla. (ABC/MNT)—$100, WYZZ Peoria-Bloomington, Ill (FOX)-$100WLOS/WMYA Greenville-Spartanburg (ABC/MNT)—$100WDKY Lexington, Ky. (FOX)—$100WSMN Madison (FOX)—NAWZTV/WUXP/WNAB Nashville, Tenn (FOX/MNT/CW)—$100WUCW Minneapolis (CW)—$150KBSI/WDKA Paducah-Cape Girardeau (FOX/MNT)—$100WICS/WICD Springfield-Champaign-Decatur (ABC/ABC)—$100KDNL St. Louis (ABC)—$100WTWC Tallahassee, Fla. (NBC)—$100WTTO/WABM Birmingham, Ala. (CW/MNT)—$100 WTVZ Norfolk, Va. (MNT)—$100WCGV/WVTV Milwaukee (MNT/CW)—NA