Okay, some more details, from somebody who helped negotiate the deal:
Sinclair is asking for about $1/month plus $40M-$60M up front for 3 years (about $5-$7/month per subscriber).
Mediacom agreed to pay Sinclair whatever they have paid other broadcast companies or whatever Sinclair has received from other cable companies in the past four years. Sinclair insisted on more. They wanted $1 million dollars over the highest deal of any market, for all 22 Sinclair stations carried by Mediacom, regardless of the size of the individual market. That is to say, they want $1 million dollars more than the deal for the largest market, but for each individual market, including the small ones. So, essentially, they’re being really greedy. They’re wanting many millions more than any comparable deal between any broadcast company and cable company.
That’s exactly the sort of information needed to determine which company is being greedy. From those numbers, we can fairly reliably guess that Sinclair is mostly to blame here. I had a Mediacom employee contact me the other day with some more numbers. He’d like his identity withheld, so I will summarize the information he provided.
Basically, Mediacom offered to match any deal Sinclair has made with other cable providers (like Comcast). Sinclair refused that offer. Then, Mediacom offered to match any deal they’ve done with other stations (over 400 other stations). Sinclair also refused that offer.
So, Mediacom has made multiple attempts to strike a deal with Sinclair. Sinclair seems unwilling to take anything less than what they’re asking.
I’ve got one more neat little bit of information, an audio recording of Sinclair CEO David Smith basically explaining why Mediacom customers aren’t important to Sinclair. David Smith says the affected markets are menial to Sinclair’s operations. Their thought process is that the market is so small, Sinclair won’t take much of a hit, Mediacom will end up losing customers.
Download Sinclair CEO MP3 or Play:
So there you have it. Mediacom is doing the right thing, protecting their customers from charges they shouldn’t have to pay. Sinclair is pretty much trying to make us pay more money for a channel we can all receive for free, over the air. Kudos Mediacom, you’ve really come through on this whole thing. I think the general public is siding with Mediacom more so than Sinclair now too, good for Mediacom. Sinclair can go to hell. I’m gonna go get some bunny ears tonight, I’m not switching any of my services away from Mediacom. If you Mediacom customers in Des Moines and Cedar Rapids/Iowa City want to continue getting KDSM and KGAN, go get a pair of bunny ears too!
In other Mediacom related news, I heard there may be another free internet speed upgrade coming. I don’t remember where I heard it but supposedly Mediacom will be increasing it’s default upload rate from 256kbps to 512kbps. That would be stellar, because when I download at my full 5Mbps, all of my upload is used also. Need more upstream!!!
Anyway, thanks again Mediacom. I have a renewed faith in you. If you’re interested, here’s a little article at Reuters about the Mediacom and Sinclair issue.