When it comes to retransmission consent disputes, a broadcast TV station ownership group founded 28 years ago by Chairwoman Nancie Smith and her late husband, David Smith, and led by President Dennis Thatcher has in recent years seen some of the thorniest of negotiations. This led Mission Broadcasting to engage in bitter fights over carriage fee agreements with direct broadcast satellite service provider DirecTV, and the parent of the Xfinity broadband and cable TV services arm of NBCUniversal parent Comcast Corp.
Both DirecTV and Comcast went to the FCC to independently address their view that Mission’s retransmission consent discussions were unfairly being led by a company it enjoys a shared services agreement with — the nation’s No. 1 owner of broadcast television stations.
Now, the Commission has reviewed the Comcast complaint and has taken the MVPD’s side in the fight by issuing a hefty Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture to Mission — agreeing with the MVPD giant’s contention that it failed to negotiate a fresh carriage deal “in good faith” as it relates to The CW affiliate serving the New York Tri-State Region.