Monday, July 9, 2018
Sinclair Defends Tribune Deal
Sinclair was vigorously defending its proposal to buy Tribune's stations against all comers last week, responding to critics by telling the FCC that it is being asked to make decisions based on subjective disagreements over Sinclair content or views of a marketplace that no longer exists.
In its reply to various petitions to deny the deal at the FCC, Sinclair said that critics seemed to think it was still a world with seven TV channels and phones are just phones rather than video access devices, reports Broadcasting&Cable.
Among those seeking to block the deal are Dish, the American Cable Association, NCTA: The Internet & Television Association, the American Television Alliance, Communications Workers of America, Free Press, National Hispanic Media Association, Independent Programmers, Newsmax, and the ACLU.
Contrary to the "sky is falling" rhetoric from its opponents, its not falling, Sinclair said.
"Sinclair’s acquisition of Tribune will not radically disrupt the media marketplace or impede viewers’ access to quality local news, nor will it violate any FCC rules or policies."
And while critics have said Sinclair is trying to skirt the spirit of the FCC rules through sidecar deals that give it continuing relationships with some of the stations it is spinning off, Sinclair says: "The proposed divestitures, including those that contain sharing arrangements, are consistent with the rules and with other transactions previously approved by the Commission."
Sinclair has modified the deal numerous times to square with FCC deregulatory moves--for which Sinclair pushed--and to make the deal more palatable to the Justice Department's concerns over share of ad revenue in local markets.
Sinclair pointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals' decision allowing the combination of AT&T and Time Warner's Turner programming assets, in which the court said that "the idea that Google, Facebook, YouTube and Netflix do not compete with traditional programmers and MVPDs “defies reality.”
Posted 3:50:00 AM