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Sinclair Broadcast Group - General Discussion

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Posted (edited)

Glad that Sinclair is finally able to put that debacle behind them.  The dollar figure is a bit higher than I expected, but it's still consistent with what I thought would happen long ago that it would just be a fine as the sole requirement to turn the page.  Hopefully Sinclair will do better with their acquisition strategy moving forward.

 

I don't think this will in any way derail their balance sheet.  I suspect Sinclair already knew a fine would be forthcoming and were already planning to factor that into their expenses for awhile (long before the RSNs and COVID).  And if in the off chance it did derail their balance sheet, remember that every company is in big trouble right now from the response to COVID-19.   Until the states fully reopen and people open their wallets again, everyone is less than "healthy" as a company--notwithstanding a few exceptions (Walmart, Amazon, etc).

Edited by TheRyan
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2 hours ago, TheRyan said:

Glad that Sinclair is finally able to put that debacle behind them.  The dollar figure is a bit higher than I expected, but it's still consistent with what I thought would happen long ago that it would just be a fine as the sole requirement to turn the page.  Hopefully Sinclair will do better with their acquisition strategy moving forward.

 

I don't think this will in any way derail their balance sheet.  I suspect Sinclair already knew a fine would be forthcoming and were already planning to factor that into their expenses for awhile (long before the RSNs and COVID).  And if in the off chance it did derail their balance sheet, remember that every company is in big trouble right now from the response to COVID-19.   Until the states fully reopen and people open their wallets again, everyone is less than "healthy" as a company--notwithstanding a few exceptions (Walmart, Amazon, etc).

Exactly but keep in mind there were several media companies that were already unhealthy to begin with including Sinclair, which saw their stocks plunge even before COVID.

 

I'd say give it until the end of the year and we'll know more about COVID's impact of the RSNs as well as Sinclair but I have to imagine they're cheering for the NHL/NBA to finish their seasons and for MLB to start their season to avoid the ultimate collapse of the RSNs and thus, Sinclair.

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1 hour ago, oknewsguy said:

Exactly but keep in mind there were several media companies that were already unhealthy to begin with including Sinclair, which saw their stocks plunge even before COVID.

 

I'd say give it until the end of the year and we'll know more about COVID's impact of the RSNs as well as Sinclair but I have to imagine they're cheering for the NHL/NBA to finish their seasons and for MLB to start their season to avoid the ultimate collapse of the RSNs and thus, Sinclair.

 

I agree with you.  I would just say that many companies weren't going into this with the best balance sheet.  I think Sinclair has time to effectively mitigate any major issues.

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8 hours ago, tyrannical bastard said:

Even the RKO General stuff seems tame compared to how Sinclair conducted themselves in the Tribune deal.

 

General Tire paid a ton of bribes to foreign officials, and RKO General committed all kinds of fraud...so yeah, General Tire was shady as fuck. So is Sinclair, but from what we know, they can't really hide it as well (of course, it helped General Tire that this all happened before the Web became commonplace)...

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IMO, Sinclair should have been fined more than that, as well as lose ownership licenses to stations they owned and/or forced to sell some or a few stations.

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17 minutes ago, TexasTVNews said:

IMO, Sinclair should have been fined more than that, as well as lose ownership licenses to stations they owned and/or forced to sell some or a few stations.

Nah. That's not gonna happen under Pizza Pai..

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2 hours ago, TexasTVNews said:

IMO, Sinclair should have been fined more than that, as well as lose ownership licenses to stations they owned and/or forced to sell some or a few stations.

If this occured under Wheeler that would've definately been in the cards but since he's no longer in charge, yeah that's not going to happen

 

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Here's the full consent decree posted yesterday (5/22). The decree also includes that its has to abide by a four-year compliance plan.

 

If this was any other broadcaster, that $48M would've been just. But with Sinclair?! Even if the fine would've been $100M (which should've been the preferred fine), that still would've been a slap on the wrist. FCC should've at least put the matter to a hearing anyway. Without the hearing, this shows that they can just buy their way out of trouble. And once four years elapses, how do we know they won't re-offend again? Remember Glencairn?

 

Anywho, the FCC did approve their long-awaited transaction of KOMO-FM from South Sound Broadcasting. The deal was first made in June of 2017.

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3 hours ago, CircleSeven said:

Here's the full consent decree posted yesterday (5/22). The decree also includes that its has to abide by a four-year compliance plan.

 

If this was any other broadcaster, that $48M would've been just. But with Sinclair?! Even if the fine would've been $100M (which should've been the preferred fine), that still would've been a slap on the wrist. FCC should've at least put the matter to a hearing anyway. Without the hearing, this shows that they can just buy their way out of trouble. And once four years elapses, how do we know they won't re-offend again? Remember Glencairn?

 

Anywho, the FCC did approve their long-awaited transaction of KOMO-FM from South Sound Broadcasting. The deal was first made in June of 2017.

The way I interpreted the whole decree it sounds like that Sinclair can't do anything with the stations whether if its their existing stations or TV stations that they buy from to transfer it over from the shells to Sinclair itself and vise versa.

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This is a bunch of nothing, really. The two largest parts of the Consent Decree deals with sponsorship identification and retransmission negotiations.

 

Basically:

  • Sinclair must have their lawyers review all applications to the FCC, and said lawyers must certify them to be compliant with all communication laws.
  • Sinclair must set up policies to ensure sponsored content is properly labeled as sponsored (they are not the first broadcaster to end up with an FCC Consent Decree with this included)
  • Sinclair is not allowed to see, or be involved with, retransmission negotiations for stations they do not outright own (i.e. they are not allowed to see or know about the agreements negotiated by Deerfield Media stations)
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8 minutes ago, Weeters said:

This is a bunch of nothing, really. The two largest parts of the Consent Decree deals with sponsorship identification and retransmission negotiations.

 

Basically:

  • Sinclair must have their lawyers review all applications to the FCC, and said lawyers must certify them to be compliant with all communication laws.
  • Sinclair must set up policies to ensure sponsored content is properly labeled as sponsored (they are not the first broadcaster to end up with an FCC Consent Decree with this included)
  • Sinclair is not allowed to see, or be involved with, retransmission negotiations for stations they do not outright own (i.e. they are not allowed to see or know about the agreements negotiated by Deerfield Media stations)

The question then becomes is that part included in this quote

Quote

no application for assignment or transfer of control of a full-power television or AM or FM radio station license, amendment thereto, or related representation in a proceeding in which Sinclair is a party to such an application shall be submitted to or filed with the Commission by any Covered Employee unless it is (a) first reviewed and approved by Sinclair’s internal legal counsel and such approval is duly noted and (b) accompanied by a certification from the Compliance Officer that it is accurate and complete and otherwise in compliance with Communications Laws—such certification shall be accompanied by a statement explaining the basis for such certification and shall comply with Section 1.16 of the Rules and be subscribed to as true under penalty of perjury in substantially the form set forth therein;

Or is it something else?

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2 hours ago, oknewsguy said:

The question then becomes is that part included in this quote

Or is it something else?

 

What this part says is that Sinclair cannot apply for "assignment or transfer of control" (broad enough to include any purchase or divestiture of a station) without the applications being approved by Sinclair's legal team, and that any such application must also be accompanied by a certification from the designated Compliance Officer enforcing compliance of this order, stating that the application is accurate and that it's following all applicable laws. They must also submit an explanation as to why it was certified accurate and lawful.

 

So, in other words, for the next few years, any time they buy or sell a station, they will need to certify that they are following the rules and not trying to pull a fast one on the FCC. 

 

The text applicable to the retransmission agreements is:

Quote

iii) no Sinclair employee or agent who is involved in any way in retransmission consent negotiations on behalf of Sinclair may possess, receive, access, accept, or review any retransmission consent agreement to which a Non-Sinclair Station is a party, or nonpublic information related to such an agreement;

 

iv) no Sinclair employee or agent may provide a copy of any retransmission consent agreement to which a Non-Sinclair Station is a party, or non-public information related to such an agreement, to any Sinclair employee or agent who is involved in any way in retransmission consent negotiations on behalf of Sinclair;

 

v) no Sinclair employee or agent may provide any retransmission consent agreement, or non-public information related to such an agreement, to any third party unless the third party is a signatory of the agreement in question; and

 

vi) information controls shall be established that (1) prevent any Sinclair employee or agent from, intentionally or unintentionally, sharing physical or electronic copies of any retransmission consent agreement to which a Non-Sinclair Station is a party, or any document containing non-public information related to such an agreement, with any Sinclair employee or agent who is involved in any way in retransmission consent negotiations on behalf of Sinclair, (2) prevent any Sinclair employee or agent who is involved in any way in retransmission consent negotiations on behalf of Sinclair from, intentionally or unintentionally, accessing physical or electronic copies of any retransmission consent agreement to which a Non-Sinclair Station is a party, or any document containing non-public information related to such an agreement, and (3) prevent any Sinclair employee or agent from, intentionally or unintentionally, sharing physical or electronic copies of any retransmission consent agreement, or any document containing non-public information related to such an agreement, with any third party unless the third party is a signatory of the agreement in question.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Although I generally take the laissez-faire approach when it comes to the FCC, there is a part of me that wants to see the requirement (for having a legal counsel attest to the application being made in good order) required of all companies. 

 

But I'm glad there is finally some type of resolution to this dispute and Sinclair can finally put the Tribune merger fiasco behind them.

Edited by TheRyan

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1 hour ago, Weeters said:

 

What this part says is that Sinclair cannot apply for "assignment or transfer of control" (broad enough to include any purchase or divestiture of a station) without the applications being approved by Sinclair's legal team, and that any such application must also be accompanied by a certification from the designated Compliance Officer enforcing compliance of this order, stating that the application is accurate and that it's following all applicable laws. They must also submit an explanation as to why it was certified accurate and lawful.

 

So, in other words, for the next few years, any time they buy or sell a station, they will need to certify that they are following the rules and not trying to pull a fast one on the FCC. 

 

The text applicable to the retransmission agreements is:

 

 

Essentially for example Sinclair tries to buy stations C & D but already have Stations A & B they can transfer the station over to say Deerfield as long as the legal team is ok with that (same principle would apply to any station Sinclair tries to acquire anything from one of their shells).

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Not just Sinclair's legal team, but also the FCC's compliance officer who is tasked with keeping Sinclair in check. That, I imagine, will be the bigger obstacle than Sinclair's own attorneys.

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Posted (edited)

Hate to bump up a stagnant thread but Sinclair is going to launch a Headline News Service that will run from 6 to 9am initially on stations affiliated with the CW and MyNetworkTV respectively as well as its own OTT service, STIRR. Scheduled to launch early next year https://tvnewscheck.com/article/top-news/250273/sinclair-to-launch-headline-news-service/

 

Don't be surprised if this expands eventually to other affiliates (particulary the ones without news departments).

Edited by oknewsguy

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6 minutes ago, oknewsguy said:

Hate to bump up a stagnant thread but Sinclair is going to launch a Headline News Service that will run from 6 to 9am initially on stations affiliated with the CW and MyNetworkTV respectively as well as its own OTT service, STIRR. Scheduled to launch early next year https://tvnewscheck.com/article/top-news/250273/sinclair-to-launch-headline-news-service/

 

Don't be surprised if this expands eventually to other affiliates (particulary the ones without news departments).

I just read about this. It sounds a lot like WGN America’s upcoming News Nation.

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Posted (edited)
18 hours ago, oknewsguy said:

Hate to bump up a stagnant thread but Sinclair is going to launch a Headline News Service that will run from 6 to 9am initially on stations affiliated with the CW and MyNetworkTV respectively as well as its own OTT service, STIRR. Scheduled to launch early next year https://tvnewscheck.com/article/top-news/250273/sinclair-to-launch-headline-news-service/

 

Don't be surprised if this expands eventually to other affiliates (particulary the ones without news departments).

 

18 hours ago, T.L. Hughes said:

I just read about this. It sounds a lot like WGN America’s upcoming News Nation.

 Really should only be 2 hours, and not 3. Will it be 6-9 in all time zones? The stations that air  Big 3 10/9pm news productions by their duopoly partner should air morning news from those stations instead if they do not already. Looking at you WMYA. Not sure which station it will be on in Raleigh/Durham, WLFL or WRDC. Probably the former if I had to guess. WLFL could air morning news from WTVD since they air their 10:00 news but they are not the station in a duopoly with them.

 

If it does expand to other affiliates I’d like to see WMYT pick it up, but I’m not sure if Nexstar would want it going against its own Good Day Charlotte.

Edited by Nelson R.

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Posted (edited)

https://deadline.com/2020/06/sinclair-broadcast-group-headline-news-service-1202961647/#comments
 

They eventually plan to expand it to “afternoons and then evenings.” Wow. So maybe 3-4pm and 7-8pm Eastern? Or 6-7pm? The evening slot would take away sitcom rerun time. Maybe it would just be 30 minutes each in the afternoon and evening. Sounds like overkill.

Edited by Nelson R.

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It appears that Sinclair is making its first TV station purchase since the consent decree.

 

They're buying two LPs in the DC area. WDCO-CD in Woodstock, VA & WIAV-CD in Washington from WMTM, LLC for $8.5M.

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What could Sinclair possibly want with a couple of LPs? ATSC 3.0 test stations?

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4 minutes ago, TSSZNews said:

What could Sinclair possibly want with a couple of LPs? ATSC 3.0 test stations?

 

WIAV-CD hosts WMDO-CD (UniMás), as a note. I suspect this might have something to do with ATSC 3.0 myself. Notably the related WAZT-CD Vienna VA was not sold.

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