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Mediacom files antitrust lawsuit against Sinclair

Erik Hanson

Mediacom Communications, the eighth-largest cable provider in the United States, has filed an antitrust lawsuit against Sinclair Communications in Federal court, alleging that the broadcaster has attempted to force higher fees on cable and satellite providers by only allowing carriage if Mediacom pays fees to bundle stations in other markets. Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc., is one of the largest television broadcasters in the country. Sinclair owns, operates, or services 58 local television stations in 36 markets, reaching 22% of television households in the United States. Sinclair is well known among providers for refusing to allow providers to carry certain channels if they haven't paid up Sinclair's fees, while attempting to get them to pay fees for other markets as well. Now Mediacom is fighting back, filing in an Iowa Federal court that Sinclair has overstepped its legal bounds and used its monopoly powers to tie station carriage unfairly. Those with Sinclair in their markets will surely be rooting for Mediacom on this case, as we would hate to be watching Fox, NBC, ABC, CBS, CW or any of the other Sinclair-owned stations in standard-def -- if even at all -- just because of unfair business tactics.

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