The two House Democrats tell FCC Chairman Pai that restoring the UHF discount would further concentrate station ownership. They also say take a shot at Sinclair Broadcast Group.
Pelosi, Pallone: Don’t Restore UHF Discount
Today, House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi and Energy & Commerce Committee Ranking Member Frank Pallone Jr. have written to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai in advance of a vote tomorrow, urging the FCC not to restore the UHF discount, which they describe as a “loophole” that would further concentrate television station ownership and raise cable costs for consumers.
“We are writing our very serious concerns about the upcoming vote to restore the UHF discount loophole and the negative impact that would have on consumers,” Pelosi and Pallone wrote. “There is no justification for the FCC to restore the UHF loophole.
“We are concerned, in part, because of press accounts that Sinclair is waiting for the UHF loophole to be restored so it can buy Tribune Broadcasting’s stations,” Pelosi and Pallone continue in the letter. “That would be bad news for consumers in Tribune’s markets in two ways: first, consumers would lose an independent voice in their media market; and second, consumers could see their cable bills go up because Sinclair charges cable operators more than Tribune for retransmission consent.”
The full text of the letter can be found here.