For Immediate Release
Contact: Ted Hearn
PITTSBURGH, August 9, 2018 – American Cable Association President and CEO Matthew M. Polka issued the following statement regarding Tribune Media’s announcement abandoning the $3.9 billion merger with Sinclair coupled with a breach of contract suit against Sinclair:
“Tribune’s decision to pull the plug on the Sinclair merger is great news for consumers who will avoid paying the higher pay-TV rates the deal would have caused. It is especially great news for those consumers served by smaller video providers that have been victimized in the past by outrageous retransmission consent fee hikes and scurrilous signal blackouts by large corporate broadcasters.
“In the end, Tribune’s move was an inevitable necessity after the Federal Communications Commission effectively killed the deal by sending it to an Administrative Law Judge for review of highly suspect, too-clever-by-half TV station ‘sales’ cooked up by the Sinclair side.
“All along, ACA insisted that the proposed Sinclair-Tribune deal would result in harm to the public stemming from higher retrans fees and higher consumer prices. Sinclair’s illusory ‘sales’ served only to magnify these harms.
“Few predicted the collapse of the Sinclair-Tribune deal when it was first announced. ACA is pleased that others joined us in refusing to yield to conventional wisdom and continuing to challenge an obvious attempt by Sinclair to subordinate the public interest to its quest to obtain TV station ownership hegemony.”
About the American Cable Association: Based in Pittsburgh, the American Cable Association is a trade organization representing about 800 smaller and medium-sized, independent companies that provide broadband, phone and video services to nearly 8 million customers primarily located in rural and smaller suburban markets across America. Through active participation in the regulatory and legislative process in Washington, D.C., ACA’s members work together to advance the interests of their customers and ensure the future competitiveness and viability of their business. For more information, visit: http://www.americancable.org/