A Legacy TV Services Provider Sparks The Latest Retrans Spat


Updated at 2:15pm Eastern with a statement from Frontier Communications and source clarifications.

BRADENTON, FLA. — On May 5, 2016, Calkins Media announced that it had agreed to sell an ABC affiliate in a unique situation to one of the nation’s biggest broadcast TV companies. For $82 million, the company agreed to spin this station, which is one of two ABC affiliates in its DMA, to Raycom Media.

Then came the June 25, 2018, announcement that Raycom would be merging with Gray Television, a transformative transaction that closed as 2019 began.

Now, nearly two years later, Gray is dealing with a retransmission consent feud focused on this single Sunshine State property. The MVPD at the center of the dispute, which has led to the latest “blackout” of a free-to-air TV station? Frontier Communications.

And, it’s a complex matter involving legacy customers to a grandfathered service.



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