Sinclair to Pay $9M to Settle Retrans Probe
Sinclair Broadcast Group will pay more than $9 million to resolve several FCC investigations. That includes a Media Bureau probe into whether the broadcaster violated the obligation to negotiate for retransmission consent in good faith.
The agency’s retransmission consent rules forbid a broadcaster to negotiate jointly for one of its stations and for another station in the same market that it does not control. The bureau found over the course of seven months Sinclair negotiated retransmission consent on behalf of dozens stations that it did not control at the same time that it was negotiating for its own stations in the same markets.
Sinclair will pay $9,495,000 and implement a compliance plan.
The settlement also resolves a number of other issues that had been pending for Sinclair-owned stations, and the Bureau has agreed to grant all pending Sinclair renewal applications as part of the settlement terms.