Sinclair: Put Retrans Terms On Comcast-TWC

The broadcaster tells the FCC that it should condidition approval of the Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger on requiring equal retrans terms and agreeing to binding arbitration to settle disputes. It also wants Comcast's NBC to be capped at asking for no more than 50% of station retrans revenue for reverse comp.

To protect broadcasters from the “unprecedented” scale of the combined Comcast and Time Warner Cable, the Sinclair Broadcast Group has asked the FCC to condition its approval of the merger on surviving Comcast’s promise to give retransmission consent terms to unaffiliated broadcasters “no less advantageous … than [those] they provide to their own O&Os.”

In addition, Comcast should be required to agree to binding arbitration in retrans negotiations if requested by the broadcaster, Sinclair said. “And the arbitrator should be instructed to take into account the fees paid for cable channels as well as for other broadcast stations in determining appropriate consideration.”

Also concerned about the demands Comcast’s NBC may make for reverse comp — or “reverse retransmission fees” —  Sinclair asked the FCC to cap such fees at 50% of the retransmission consent revenue that broadcasters collect from cable and satellite operators. “This could help preserve a broadcaster’s ability to invest in programming, among other things.”

Sinclair also asked that the Comcast promise not to object to the implementation of a new broadcast standard. What’s more, it said, Comcast should agree not to deploy any technology that “interferes with broadcast delivery of new products and services.”

Sinclair along with other broadcasters and receiver manufacturers are actively developing a new broadcast standard — ATSC 3.0 — through the Advanced Television Systems Committee.


Comments (5)

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Don Thompson says:

August 27, 2014 at 5:16 pm

IMO – This headline is inaccurate: “Sinclair: Put Retrans Terms On Comcast-TWC”
No, Sinclair is demanding “reverse comp” terms, though Sinclair calls it “reverse retrans.” ……………. Please follow me on Twitter @TedatACA

Don Thompson says:

August 27, 2014 at 5:23 pm

Another Sinclair beauty: Price controls. Broadcaster says FCC should cap reverse comp to NBC at
50% of a station’s #retrans haul | bit.ly/1ny4iIc ……………………………………………………………………………………………………
Sinclair: FCC should force binding arbitration on Comcast to reduce number of blackouts of local TV stations that Comcast could generate………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
Sinclair to FCC: Comcast will lay down “take it or leave it” terms. Oh, doesn’t Sinclair do the same to small cable ops?Sinclair TV to FCC: Comcast will have “upper hand” in negotiations. Who gave Buckeye CableSystem in Toledo the “middle finger” for 212 days |||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| ………………………………………………… Sinclair to FCC: Comcast too large to negotiate in a fair and effective manner with us. Buckeye CableSystem feels your pain.

And …….. Please follow me on Twitter @TedatACA …………………..||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||

    Michael Ford says:

    August 27, 2014 at 6:06 pm

    Come on Ted, you want something for nothing and whine about every broadcaster that exists. What exactly are your going to air on your precious little cable systems if broadcasters don’t make new shows. Do you think HBO and Netflix are going to supply you with 24/7 programming for free? What incentive is there for broadcasters to make new shows without having a supporting revenue stream?

Sandy Hinkle says:

August 27, 2014 at 11:13 pm

This is absolutely the HEIGHT of broadcaster hypocrisy! It is so hypocritical it is laughable. And broadcasters wonder why the House, the Senate AND the FCC are taking action to change cashcaster retrans rules. Broadcasters have no one to blame but themselves. Follow me @MATTatACA

    Wagner Pereira says:

    August 29, 2014 at 2:32 am

    Which hypocrisy are you speaking of? The fact that cable wants to make Broadcast TV with their 35% of MVPD viewing a la carte, while not wanting to do the same for cable/internet networks, or that cable just does not want to pay their fair share for programming that drives subscriptions to their cable systems? Either way, it is like talking out both sides of your mouth…….. Please follow me on Twitter @NotTedatACA …………………..||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||


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