KDVR’s Meagan O’Halloran Leaving For Sinclair’s ‘The National Desk’

FCC Upholds Record $10M Retrans Fine Against Sinclair-Managed Stations

The FCC has officially imposed the maximum per-violation fine of $512,228 each for all but one of the stations it had identified in a September 2020 notice of apparent liability as violating the FCC’s requirement of good faith retransmission consent negotiations. The 18 stations had been the target of a complaint by AT&T and its DirecTV DBS service alleging they had unreasonably delayed those negotiations including failing to respond to AT&T proposals.

Sinclair Broadcast Group Launches Compulse

With the release of Compulse 360 software for digital media, Compulse, Sinclair’s digital arm, offers purpose-built tech, expert managed services and transparent pricing designed to let clients run local campaigns at scale.

NewsON Gets App Makeover

Sinclair Names ‘National Desk’ P.M. Anchors

Meagan O’Halloran returns to Sinclair as main anchor of The National Desk late news. Eugene Ramirez Joins as live desk anchor weeknights at 10 p.m. ET beginning Sept. 27.

Premion Shows Station Groups The Way To OTT Revenue

Over-the-top advertising has become a surprisingly important business for companies that have been stockpiling television stations. Streaming revenue is letting broadcasters, including Cox Media Group, Sinclair Broadcast Group and the NBC and Fox O&Os, claim a foothold in the technology field and create advanced advertising products for clients enamored of digital and social media.

Sinclair Names John McClure VP-Chief Information Security Officer

Sinclair Broadcast Group today appointed John McClure vice president and chief information security officer. In this newly created role, he will lead the company’s information security program across all business functions. Additionally, Mr. McClure will define and be responsible for creating and executing Sinclair’s security vision, strategy and operating model across its entire portfolio. McClure […]

As All-Star Break Approaches, Sinclair RSNs Near Tipping Point

The sports channels still lack YouTube TV, Hulu, fuboTV carriage. Dish negotiations are expected in August.

NewsON Rolls Out Redesign, Upgrades, Platform Expansion

The Sinclair-owned streamer features local news from more than 275 TV stations, giving consumers access to live and on-demand local newscasts and local news clips from 165-plus markets covering more than 75% of the U.S.

Sinclair Bids For NBC Sports Networks

Sinclair Broadcast Group, already the nation’s dominant owner of regional sports networks, has made an offer to acquire NBCUniversal’s seven regional sports networks. If Sinclair succeeds in buying the RSNs, it would add dozens of popular National Basketball Association and Major League Baseball teams to its already vast collection of sports broadcast rights. The deal would also give Sinclair an 8% stake in SportsNet New York, which broadcasts Mets games.

STIRR Adding Locally Produced News Specials To STIRR City

STIRR, a free, ad-supported OTT streaming service owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group, has expanded the content offerings on its STIRR City channels to include locally-produced news specials, beginning with Baltimore is Dying, a regional documentary, and Your Voice, Your Future Town Hall: City in Crisis, both produced by Sinclair Broadcast Group’s WBFF Baltimore, to stream on STIRR City Baltimore on July 1 […]

Sinclair’s Ripley Sees Rapid Expansion Of 3.0

The latest advance in television broadcasting, with features such as mobile reception, ultra-high-definition video and movie-theater-quality sound, should reach markets covering about half of U.S. households by the end of the year, said CEO Christopher Ripley during the broadcaster’s annual meeting this week. “With Next Gen TV-enabled television sets beginning to come to market, we now anticipate that consumer interest in this technology will drive its nationwide adoption,” he said.

COMMENTARY BY ALAN WOLK

Sinclair’s Streaming RSNs And Warner’s CNN Plus May Be Pay TV’s Biggest Disruptors

Analyst Alan Wolk: While the entertainment offerings on streaming today easily surpass the offerings on cable in terms of both quality and quantity, the same cannot be said for news and sports.

Sinclair Expects Bally Sports DTC Could Attract 4.4M Subs, $2B In Revenue

Sinclair is working on a direct-to-consumer streaming service for its Bally Sports regional sports networks and it has disclosed to potential lenders how big it believes the opportunity could be. In an 8K filing with the SEC, Sinclair included a presentation outlining the potential upside of launching an RSN DTC service, which it predicted could eventually attract approximately 4.4 million subscribers and generate around $2 billion in annual revenue.

EXECUTIVE SESSION WITH ADAM WARE

Sinclair’s STIRR: Streaming Revenue Gold In ‘Long-Form’

Adam Ware, VP of national networks and platforms for Sinclair Broadcast Group, says the company’s STIRR network of local streaming channels is seeing robust revenue growth in spinning up bespoke channels and “long-form” advertising content for local advertisers. Note: This story is available to TVNewsCheck Premium members only. If you would like to upgrade your free TVNewsCheck membership to Premium now, you can visit your Member Home Page, available when you log in at the very top right corner of the site or in the Stay Connected Box that appears in the right column of virtually every page on the site. If you don’t see Member Home, you will need to click Log In or Subscribe.

New Sinclair RSN Ops Center Leverages ST 2110 IP Infrastructure, Cloud

Sinclair Broadcast Group has expanded its sports production and delivery capabilities with the launch of a new 25,000-square-foot, SMPTE ST 2110 media operations center here dedicated to its regional sports networks (RSNs). The operations center, which leverages cloud-hosted disaster recovery channels, also serves as a large-scale ST 2110 production facility for its Tennis Channel. Sinclair’s Tennis Channel features a cloud-based environment for pop-up live special events as well.

Sinclair Raising $250M For New Sports Streamer

Sinclair Broadcast Group is quietly raising money for a new service that would stream games by the St. Louis Cardinals, the Dallas Mavericks and scores of other popular sports teams to fans over the Internet. Sinclair — which owns exclusive rights to broadcast games for dozens of MLB, NBA and NHL teams — is working with investment bank LionTree to raise more than $250 million for the venture, according to two sources with knowledge of the plans.

Sinclair Pushes Its ‘Stack’ Of Diginets

While many in the TV business are investing billions in subscription streaming services, big broadcasters are focusing on free over-the-air digital channels. Sinclair Broadcast Group has been investing in its digital channels — Comet TV, Charge and TBD — and is seeing a healthy increase in advertising revenue since getting ratings from Nielsen and upgrading their programming. In June, for example, Charge is adding CSI: Miami to its schedule. “What we’ve tried to do with these networks is level up the programming to make them general-market worthy,” Scott Ehrlich, Sinclair SVP, growth networks and content, said.

Sinclair Sells Its 4 Radio Stations To Lotus

KOMO-AM-FM, KPLZ-FM and KVI-AM in Seattle go for $18 million to Los Angeles-based radio group owner Lotus Communications.

TVN TECH

TVN Tech | A Busy Spring For LPTV’s Repack

Low-power TV stations continue to contend with FCC initiatives to move to new channels and convert to digital operations, while interest grows in using LPTV sticks to transmit in the ATSC 3.0 standard. Above, Comark E-Compact transmitters.

Sinclair Distribution Exec Barry Faber To Retire

The force behind the station group’s retrans efforts and station acquisitions will become a consultant next month.

TVN FOCUS ON SALES

Focus On Advertising | Broadcasters Turn Inward For Automated Sales Solutions

Executives from NBCUniversal Local (Frank Comerford, above), Tegna, Sinclair and Hearst told a TVNewsCheck webinar they’re bedeviled by persistent gaps in the available buying/selling pipeline, which have bogged down the transaction process and added to their expenses. Those woes are leading some broadcasters to bring more of their automated functions in house.

TVN TECH

TVN Tech | COVID-Era Content Management Taps Cloud, AI

Technology executives from WarnerMedia, Sinclair and Hearst said at a recent TVNewsCheck webinar that they’re tackling the content management challenge amplified by the pandemic by using cloud storage and leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning to improve indexing and searching.

Sinclair Targets 2022 Launch Of DTC Streaming Version Of Bally Sports RSNs

EARNINGS CALL

Core Beating Expectations For Sinclair

EVP-CFO Lucy Rutishauser: “If you adjust for the impact of the Super Bowl moving this year to CBS from Fox last year, core advertising results for the first quarter would have been up low-single-digits compared to a year ago,” she told analysts. President-CEO Chris Ripley added: “We’ve been very, very happy with what we’ve seen on [2Q] core advertising. It’s been a great bounce back for the economy overall.”

QUARTERLY REPORT

Sinclair Media Revenue Dips 5% In 1Q

The decrease to $1.5 billion comes from lower political ad revenue. Core revenues, which excludes political revenues, totaled $367 million, an increase of 3% versus $358 million in the first quarter of 2020, benefiting from more local sports games taking place in the quarter compared to the same period a year ago.

Sinclair’s ‘National Desk’ Adds Evening Edition

The group’s morning show will introduce a late news broadcast at 10 p.m.-midnight ET beginning Sept. 27.

Analyst: Sinclair RSNs Face ‘Tumultuous’ Period

Wells Fargo media analyst Steven Cahall told clients Tuesday that he believes Sinclair Broadcast Group’s regional sports networks could face a “tumultuous” period over the next few months, as uncertainty mounts concerning its upcoming carriage renewal with Dish Network and its ongoing battle with streamers YouTube TV and Hulu Live.

Sinclair Names Laurie R. Beyer To Board Of Directors

Sinclair Broadcast Group’s board of directors today voted to increase the size of the board from nine to 11 members and named Laurie R. Beyer as its newest member. She will stand for re-election to the board of directors at Sinclair’s next annual meeting of shareholders. The board of directors expects to fill the additional […]

TECH ONE-ON-ONE WITH DON ROBERTS

TVN Tech One-On-One | For Sinclair, A New Playbook For TV Sports

Don Roberts, Sinclair Broadcast Group’s VP of sports engineering, is navigating a sports production landscape that has been profoundly changed by the COVID-19 pandemic while trying to make sure that Sinclair’s multi-billion-dollar bet on the former Fox RSNs pays off. He’s managing technical changes from the RSNs’ Bally rebrand and overseeing construction of a new origination facility in Atlanta, while meeting COVID protocols for three concurrent major-league sports for the RSNs and two professional tennis tours for Tennis Channel. Note: This story is available to TVNewsCheck Premium members only. If you would like to upgrade your free TVNewsCheck membership to Premium now, you can visit your Member Home Page, available when you log in at the very top right corner of the site or in the Stay Connected Box that appears in the right column of virtually every page on the site. If you don’t see Member Home, you will need to click Log In or Subscribe.

TVN FOCUS ON ADVERTISING

TVN Focus On Advertising | Sports Betting Skyrockets For Broadcasters

Sports wagering has invigorated station groups’ core revenue, climbing to the second-biggest ad sales category for many of them and angling to knock automotive from its top spot in the next few years. Note: This story is available to TVNewsCheck Premium members only. If you would like to upgrade your free TVNewsCheck membership to Premium now, you can visit your Member Home Page, available when you log in at the very top right corner of the site or in the Stay Connected Box that appears in the right column of virtually every page on the site. If you don’t see Member Home, you will need to click Log In or Subscribe.

How Sinclair Pulled Off The Gargantuan Bally Sports Networks Rebrand Amid The Pandemic

Sinclair Ready To Put Bally Sports Networks In Starting Lineup

Rebranding a network is no small feat in the best of times. Throw in a pandemic and a clock ticking down to Opening Day, and it’s going to be a photo finish for Sinclair to flip the Fox Sports RSNs to Bally Sports this week.

Sinclair Starts Marketing Push For Its Forthcoming Bally Sports Networks

Sinclair Broadcast Group is preparing to rebrand its regional Fox Sports networks in the U.S. under the banner of Bally Sports, taking the name of casino operator Bally’s Corp. as sports media continues to establish closer ties with the gambling industry. The TV-station giant has begun a marketing campaign promoting the role the regional television networks play in delivering fans live games and other sports content about their local teams and players.

Sinclair National Job Cuts Hit WKRC Cincinnati

Dish, Sling TV Vs. Sinclair: Will They Settle By Opening Day?

Sinclair Lays Off 5% Of Workforce Over COVID

The company, which operates some 130 local stations and a number of regional sports networks, will lay off more than 550 employees as the pandemic continues to slow economic growth.

Rosenworcel: FCC Lacks Jurisdiction Over Hulu, Sinclair Dispute

Acting FCC Chair Jessica Rosenworcel told a troubled senator that the FCC does not have the authority to get involved in the carriage dispute between a broadcaster and streaming service, in this case Disney’s Hulu Plus Live TV streaming service and Sinclair, over access to the latter’s regional sports networks. That came in a letter responding to Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio, who asked the FCC to help facilitate a resolution of the dispute “promptly and impartially.”

EARNINGS CALL

Sinclair Reports Ad Trends Better Than Expected

“Core broadcast and other advertising revenues were above our expectations for the quarter, as November improved to down low-single-digits percentages and December was relatively flat,” Sinclair President-CEO Chris Ripley told Wall Street analysts in the company’s quarterly conference call. He said that core improvement was likely due to pent-up demand after the record-breaking political season.

QUARTERLY REPORT

Sinclair 4Q Media Revenue Drops 6%

The decrease to $1.49 billion comes despite higher political ad revenue that couldn’t offset weakness in core advertising caused by the pandemic.