More On Mediacom Vs. Sinclair

Please See 12/01 Update With More Info

I may have been a little harsh on Mediacom in my last post on this subject. But, that’s what Mediacom deserves when they bring unwarranted lawsuits against other companies and tell their customers they’ll no longer be able to get a channel they’ve lived with for years. Mediacom could have handled the situation more professionally. Instead of suing Sinclair and telling customers they’ll no longer be able to watch Fox 17, they could have simply said negotiations will continue until a suitable deal can be struck, but they didn’t. The way Mediacom handled this angered many, many customers. I spoke with at least six Mediacom cable television customers this weekend that were pretty upset at the situation. Two of them sided with Mediacom, saying they were just trying to keep prices low. I wouldn’t mind one more price increase this year if it means we get to keep KDSM Fox 17. We’ve already seen two or three price increases this year.

Mediacom has been running commercials here in central Iowa explaining the situation and letting customers know that they’re still in negotiations with Sinclair. Their commercial makes it sound like they really are trying to keep Fox 17 around for their central Iowa customers. And I believe Mediacom is trying their hardest to keep KDSM Fox 17 in their customers line-up.

Bottom line is this, Sinclair is asking Mediacom for too much money to carry KDSM Fox 17. Mediacom wasn’t happy with Sinclair’s price so after getting nowhere in negotiations, they sue. It’s hard to say whether those of us in central Iowa will be able to watch Fox 17 on Mediacom after December 1st. If we can, good. If we can’t, Mediacom will probably end up losing a great deal of subscribers in this area.

Sorry for coming down on you so hard Mediacom, but you rarely give me anything to be happy about. It’s almost always bad news when Mediacom is involved.

UPDATE: KDSM Fox 17 has updated their website with a statement from their gerenal manager. The man makes some very good points, some of the very same points I’ve made. In addition to that statement from GM Mike Wilson, there’s also a FAQ on the dispute. Please see below for the full text from the GM statement and the FAQ.

First, we have the statement from the Fox 17 General Manger, Mike Wilson.

Dear Viewer,

As you may be aware Mediacom’s right to carry FOX 17 on its cable systems is scheduled to terminate on December 1, 2006. Unless our agreement with Mediacom is extended prior to December 1st, if you are a Mediacom subscriber, after this date you will no longer be able to watch our great programming (such as NFL football, NCAA college football bowl games, Iowa Basketball, “American Idol,” “House” and “24”) on Mediacom cable.

Please be aware, however, that the termination of our relationship with Mediacom need not limit your ability to continue to watch us. First of all, you will continue to be able to watch us completely for free over-the-air. In addition, you may choose to subscribe to either DirecTV or to the Dish Network, both of which will continue to carry FOX 17. We particularly encourage you to call DirecTV at 800-376-4388 because if you sign up with them prior to December 1, 2006 and comply with certain requirements, FOX 17 WILL PAY YOU $150 (which will be applied as a rebate against your DirecTV bill, which will be applied as a fifteen $10 rebates against each of your first 15 monthly DirecTV bills)! For complete details on this offer, call DirecTV.

Although Mediacom wants you to believe this is the fault of FOX 17, you should know that we have been attempting to negotiate with Mediacom for many months to avoid this. Our parent company, Sinclair has successfully reached agreement for the carriage of its signals of its television stations, with many cable and other multi-channel video providers, including the largest such companies, Comcast, DirecTV and Echostar. We have also reached agreement with AT&T and Verizon, both of which are starting to launch video programming in certain of their markets. In fact, virtually the only cable systems on which Sinclair stations will not be carried are those owned by Mediacom.

You are paying Mediacom quite a bit of money every month in order to receive programming. Mediacom takes that money and uses it to pay the cable channels, such as Animal Planet, MTV and HGTV. We believe, and the ratings certainly support the view, that the programming broadcast by FOX 17, is much more important to you.

If that is the case, we suggest that you contact Mediacom to let them know that they should allocate some of the money you pay them to receive the programming that matters to you. This station may be free over-the-air, but Mediacom wants to sell it to you and we think they should have to pay to acquire an asset before they sell it. You are paying Mediacom in order to receive programming including this station; shouldn’t they use your money to buy the programming that is most important to you? In order to contact Mediacom, please call them at 1-866-755-2225 or to send them an e-mail, click here.

It is unfortunate that our viewers are stuck in the middle of this negotiation. It is also unfortunate that Mediacom doesn’t want to pay for an asset – our station’s signal – which they want to use in order to sell their services to you. To solve this problem,Mediacom needs to hear from you. Let them know that you would rather they use some of your cable fees to pay for programming you want, rather than for cable channels you likely never watch. Vote with your feet by switching to DirecTV (which you can do by calling 800-376-4388) or Echostar. Plus, don’t forget that FOX 17 will pay you $150 (by means of a rebate) if you switch to DirecTV and comply with certain requirements.

We apologize for any inconvenience caused by the dispute with Mediacom and thank you for your past and future support.

Sincerely yours,

Mike Wilson
General Manager, FOX 17

Second, we have the FAQ covering the Mediacom/Sinclair (Fox 17) dispute.

Mediacom Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the dispute between FOX 17 and Mediacom over?

The dispute relates to how much compensation Mediacom will pay FOX 17 for the right to carry FOX 17 on Mediacom’s cable systems.

2. Why should Mediacom pay anything to carry FOX 17?

Mediacom sells its service to the public and like any retailer should pay to acquire the assets that it wants to sell. Although FOX 17 is free to over-the-air viewers, Mediacom attracts and retains its paying subscribers by packaging together an attractive combination of programming choices including broadcast stations. Without broadcast stations like FOX 17 the package of channels that Mediacom has to sell would be less desirable and therefore less valuable. Mediacom makes more money by being able to include broadcast stations in its offering and like any business should pay to acquire such assets.

3. Doesn’t the Federal government think broadcasters should give their stations to the cable companies for free?

To the contrary, Federal laws and the rules of Federal Communications Commission specifically contemplate television station like FOX 17, being paid by the cable companies for the right to carry the signals of over-the-air stations.

4. Does Mediacom pay to acquire other channels?

Based on publicly available information, we believe that Mediacom, like all cable companies, routinely pays the owners of the vast majority of the channels it carries for that right. We believe such fees range as high as $2.00 per subscriber per month for ESPN and public reports note that The FOX News Channel is currently seeking $1.00 per subscriber per month. We believe that even channels with a narrow audience appeal, such as Animal Planet and HGTV generally receive monthly per subscriber fees.

5. Do the cable companies also pay fees for over-the-air broadcast stations?

We believe that cable companies generally pay for the signals of many broadcast stations, although such payments are often disguised as consideration provided to other channels which are often owned by vertically integrated companies which own not only broadcast stations, but also cable channels. For example, Disney currently owns not only numerous broadcast stations affiliated with ABC, but also such channels as ESPN and ABC Family. News Corp. owns not only a number of broadcast stations affiliated with the FOX network, but also such channels as F/X and Fox News. Cable companies typically prefer to pay for the cable channels and not to pay for the broadcast channels in order to try and avoid having to pay for broadcast stations owned by companies like Sinclair whose holdings in this area are limited to broadcast stations. We also know that many cable companies pay consideration to stand-alone broadcast station owners.

6. Is Sinclair asking for the kind of money being paid to channels like ESPN and FOX News?

Although Sinclair prefers to negotiate this matter privately, we can say that we have not historically asked to be paid fees as high as amounts paid to some of the cable-only channels. This is true even though the ratings of FOX 17, generally dwarf the ratings of cable-only channels. FOX 17 broadcasts some of the most popular programming on television – such as NFL Football, Iowa Basketball, “American Idol,” “House,” “24” Major League Baseball and College Football Bowl Games.

7. Won’t rates to subscribers go up if Mediacom has to pay Sinclair for its stations?

Whether rates will go up depends on decisions made by Mediacom. Mediacom is already charging you to receive FOX 17 as part of your monthly cable bill; they are just keeping that portion of your payment as profit rather than paying FOX 17. As a result, Mediacom could simply reduce its profits rather than raising rates. Alternatively, Mediacom could simply re-allocate the money its subscribers already pay among the channels that the public really wants to watch. Mediacom could simply pay less or refuse to carry channels that its customers don’t value nearly as highly as they value FOX 17.

8. Why have other stations in Mediacom markets been able to reach agreement with Mediacom?

Although we are not able to comment definitively on why other stations may have been able to reach agreement with Mediacom, we believe that in certain cases compensation is being paid but is just being disguised in some manner. In cases where little or no consideration is being paid, we believe that such broadcasters have typically reacted to the fear of the repercussions that might arise if their station were no longer carried on the cable systems. We also believe this result simply reflects the carryover of an historical practice which was based on the near monopoly power of cable companies prior to local stations being carried on DirecTV and Dish Network.

9. Has Sinclair entered into agreements with other cable companies to be paid for the right to carry its stations?

Although confidentiality obligations prevent Sinclair from disclosing the terms of any agreements with other cable companies, Sinclair has recently been able to reach agreements with a large number of cable providers, including such major system owners as Comcast, Insight and Suddenlink. In addition, Sinclair has recently signed long-term retransmission consent agreements with satellite providers, DirecTV and Echostar (Dish), as well as with telecommunication companies AT&T and Verizon, who are in the process of entering the video distribution business. Without going into the specifics of any Sinclair deals, it should be noted that (a) Sinclair has in general not violated its publicly stated position that it only grants retransmission consent or its digital signals where it has received adequate consideration and (b) public reports have indicated that satellite and telecommunications companies routinely pay broadcasters for the right to carry their signals.

10. Why doesn’t FOX 17 allow Mediacom to continue to carry FOX 17 while negotiations continue?

FOX 17 has followed precisely this course of action for quite a long time, but has concluded that Mediacom is no longer negotiating. As a result, even though FOX 17 regrets the impact this action may have on its viewers, allowing Mediacom to continue to carry our stations without consideration no longer makes sense. It would simply allow Mediacom to continue to receive all of the benefits it wants – carrying the station’s signal – without incurring the cost of doing so.

11. Will viewers still be able to watch FOX 17 after it is no longer available on Mediacom?

Yes, most viewers will be able to watch the stations completely for free over-the-air. In addition, viewers can terminate their Mediacom contracts and sign up with either DirecTV or the Dish Network in order to continue to receive most, if not all, of the programming available to Mediacom subscribers. In fact FOX 17 will pay viewers up to $150 (as a rebate) if they switch to DirecTV prior to December 1, 2006 and comply with certain requirements. For complete details on this offer, please call 1-800-376-4388.

12. Is there anything the public can do to help make sure that FOX 17 remains on Mediacom cable systems?

The best way to influence this controversy is for the public to call Mediacom and let them know how important it is for them to continue to carry the stations. It is important that Mediacom’s subscribers let Mediacom know that they intend to cancel their cable service and move to DirecTV or the Dish Network if Mediacom doesn’t carry some of the most popular programming on television. If Mediacom believes enough of its subscribers intend to “vote with their feet,” Mediacom will be more likely to take the steps necessary to continue to provide what its customers want. Viewers can send an e-mail to Mediacom expressing their displeasure at the risk of losing the station by clicking here.


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31 thoughts on “More On Mediacom Vs. Sinclair

  1. I love how the cable company is always viewed as “evil” while none of this would be happening if not for the short-sighted and large corporation oriented telecommunications law of 1996 passed by our friends in Washington. Sinclair is misrepresenting the facts in that there was a time where cable companies had a “must carry” rule in which they had to carry local broadcast stations. This still applies in the fact that they must carry the local fox station over a network feed so they really do not have a choice in bringing us programming and have little leverage in negotiation with Sinclair. Sinclair also spins the reality that Mediacom delivers 800,000 viewers to their stations, some of which would not receive them otherwise. This allows them to get higher ratings, bump up ad revenue and make higher profits. All the time they use the same news staff from Cedar Rapids KGAN station for their Des Moines KDSM station to save money and cut jobs. Nothing is cut and dry in business. Finally, for them to promote DirecTV is disgusting. DirecTV does not directly employ a single Iowan. They DO NOT pay taxes to Iowa like MediaCom is forced to and do not spend any money building the multi-million dollar telecommunications industry MediaCom has. Finally, Sinclair’s logic sounds nice until you put it in perspective. If they get away with $2 per subscriber it’s only a matter of time before the other stations do the same. Using the Sinclair logic, Mediacom will be forced to either a) cut channels, b) raise rates or c) destroy familes and communities by cutting jobs. People have no problem paying $4 for a cup of Starbuck’s coffee, but $45/mo for family cable with 76 channels is just too much!?!? If Mediacom has to pay $2 for every channel they won’t be able to stay in business.
    I’m not a cheerleader for Mediacom even though it has sounded like it. They, like all large corporations, are driven by profit and greed but no more so than loved companies like Wal-Mart or Sinclair Broadcasting or DirecTV. I just can’t stand by and let corporate scum, like those at Sinclair, get away with making themselves out to be victims as they screw the advertisers by charging insanely high prices then try to make even more money on the back end by charging you for their channels. The one thing they don’t mention is the over-the-air channels are FREE and owned by the PUBLIC, not Sinclair Broadcasting. In reality they should have no right to charge anyone for them and they should be happy Mediacom is carrying them as a service to its customers and to Sinclair.

  2. You’re right Charlie. I support the cable industry 100%, I believe it’s got a wider range of applications than phone based services, and often offer more stable connections. That’s not even touching on the cable/satellite industry.

    I realize Mediacom invests fairly large amounts of money in our communities. They’re always sponsoring a charity or some other event that helps our communities in some way. Mediacom is a good company when it comes to employing local people and giving back to their community. However, they seem to have a hard time keeping people happy with the services they provide.

    I love my cable connection, I wouldn’t trade it for any DSL in the Midwest. But, when it comes to television, Mediacom just doesn’t know what their customers want for programming.

    They need to focus on what their customers want in programming, if they drop KDSM Fox 17, they’re doomed in central Iowa.



    Let’s get the REAL facts straight!!

    Do you think real intelligent people will buy your fucked up scam to charge mediacom to distribute your broadcasts? Why should you charge THEM (Mediacom)? After all, they are providing KCRG a service of distribution, if you can not recognize that, then no one needs your stupid programming anyway. TRUST ME KCRG, THAT IS TV9 is much better anyway. Truthfully, I never really watch channel 2, however this dispute between Sinclair and Mediacom really only makes me really laugh at KGAN/Sinclair!!

    Sinclair/KGAN wants to charge mediacom because SOMEHOW, they think they have good ratings? Really, how does a network or its programming get good ratings? Could it be because they can reach more people? How can you expect ratings to continue if a large portion of your audience gets cut off? IF YOU CAN REACH MORE PEOPLE, CAN YOU THEN CHARGE MORE FOR ADVERTISING? Does any of this make any sense? Maybe not, I don’t really care because it is not a big deal for me if I EVER watch anything on KGAN again.

    PS: I am proud of MEDIACOM for actually sticking up for it’s subscribers, all of the other cable companies that fell for KGAN/SINCLAIR’S scam are real suckers and most likely don’t care about raising rates, MEDIACOM CARES!!!

  4. You make good points Kevin. However, we need more information. Other television providers have deals worked out with Sinclair, so why can’t Mediacom?

    We need to know if Sinclair’s price for Mediacom is higher than the price offered to other tv providers. And if it is higher, how much higher?

    When there’s so many other tv providers out there who have deals with Sinclair, it’s hard for me to believe that Sinclair is really asking for an unacceptably high amount of money from Mediacom. Why would they choose to pick on Mediacom?

    If we had more information on the specific numbers we’d be able to tell who’s really at fault here. My guess is that Mediacom is just angry because Sinclair wanted to up their prices some.

    Maybe if Mediacom would remove 1 or 2 of their 4 Spanish channels they could afford to pay for KDSM Fox 17, They could even stop adding these channels that nobody wants. A while back there was a big uproar on the Mediacom Forums at DSLReports about Mediacom adding a bunch of shit channels.

  5. Tyler,

    In response to your comment about needing more information. If you look at Mediacom’s website, They mention that they have offered Sinclair more than what they pay for other local stations in the same market. Whether that’s true or not I don’t know.

    What gripes me about this whole situation is the fact that the Sinclar stations are openly courting Mediacom customers for DirecTV. Make me believe that Sinclair has cut some sort of sweethart deal with DirecTV. I personally feel that a broadcaster really should have no position on how you receive their signal, and should be happy to reach more instead of fewer viewers.

    Mediacom is no saint either. Agreed that they do tend to invest in the local markets they serve. Something that DirecTV just can’t do. And Mediacom carries a lot of things I don’t watch. I know that in order to carry the things I do like to watch, they also have to carry certain other channels. It’s one of those package deals from the providers.

    But the bottom line here is that A.) By their actions Mediacom has managed to upset a lot of people both viewers, and Sinclair. B.) Sinclair on the other hand has gotten incredibly greedy. I don’t disagree with their right to be compensated for rebroadcast priveleges, but they need to be realistic too.

    I’m fortunate enough that I can put up an antenna if I have to. I really feel for people that live in apartments or other places that can’t do anything about how they get their TV. It’s not the end of the world, but it’s unfortunate that neither Sinclair nor Mediacom can get their collective acts together and get this resolved.

  6. It is very obvious that those whom have left comments, do not have a very clear understanding of this dispute. For you to side with Mediacom, clearly shows your ignorance. Mediacom is refusing to pay for a product, that in turn drives its own profits. Sinclair is asking to be compensated for the programming that it provides to the cable company which then sells it.

    Many people, like those here, don’t have a clue how much disparity there is between the number of cable television viewers and the number of broadcast viewers. In many areas around the state, the cable penetration is so incredibly low. In many rural counties, cable penetration is as low as 20-25%. That means that 75% of the county does not even HAVE cable. Yet, Mediacom, (who pays carriage fees to ESPN and CNN) is refusing to pay for broadcast programming. That doesn’t make sense. In the latest Nielsen ratings, only TWO cable programs ranked in the TOP 100 viewed programs in the country. So again, Mediacom doesn’t get subscribers because they broadcast the GAME SHOW NETWORK, they get subscribers because people want to watch Desperate Housewives, or CSI, or the Simpsons. That alone should be the reason Mediacom steps up and pays the carriage fees.

    But, it doesn’t stop there. Mediacom is now forced to deal with the same type of “bundling” that it forces its customers to deal with. Sinclair is saying to Mediacom that if you want CBS (currently the most watched network) in Cedar Rapids, then you have to pay for FOX in Des Moines. Very similar to what Mediacom customers have to do. If you want ESPN, you have to also pay for Lifetime Network.

    Mediacom WILL lose this battle. In a day and age when satellite (which contrary to what was written earlier, does put money in the pockets of Iowans) is so prevelant, and there are multiple cable systems in some Iowa cities and towns, Mediacom will lose customers in droves. Imagine not being able to watch the NFL in Cedar Rapids or in Des Moines. Imagine Hawkeye fans not being able to watch their games. Believe me, the sound you will hear on December 1st, is all of the satellite dishes going up across the state, OR, the changing from Mediacom to other cable systems.

  7. I disagree that Mediacom should pay any significant amount to Sinclair. The channels Sinclair provide are FREE. I will invest in an HD antennea to “steal” the free channels that Sinclair is demanding cable customers to pay more for. Screw you Sinclair Broadcasting!

  8. Okay Lee. Are you the same Lee that is a Mediacom sales person in Waterloo? No wonder you want to “screw Sinclair.” Because when Sinclair leaves Mediacom and Mediacom loses hundreds of subscribers, it’s going to be even more difficult for you to sell cable advertising…thus there goes your caddy. Again, with Directv, multiple cable systems, and the typical poor service of Mediacom…this company will suffer serious losses.

  9. First of all…Uhhumm is an idiot. Siding with Mediacom makes me ignorant? I’m going to tell you something buddy, watching KDSM/KGAN is free! Sinclair is being very greedy. I have a simple solution. I’m going to stay with Mediacom because screw DirecTV and their little deal with Sinclair/KDSM/KGAN, and put up an antenna. That way I can continue to watch my local programming. But wait…should I worry about Sinclair knocking on my door demanding money because I’m watching their channels through my antenna?

    Uhhumm you also need some common sense. Why do you think cable penetration is so low in rural Iowa counties? Do you think it’s because it’s rural and sparsely populated? Mediacom would go in the red if they covered rural Iowa. To invest all that money and have so few subscribers per square mile is ridiculous. No one would do it. It’s simple business, there is not enough demand to make it work. Just think about there cable bill if that would happen! Get some intelligence!

    Now for you Mr. Mike Wilson, GM:
    I love your response to question 6 in the FAQ. Is Sinclair asking for the same kind of money that ESPN and Fox News charges? Answer: We’ll keep that private (of course) but we can say historically we have not. COME ON. Obviously you haven’t historically because this type of thing hasn’t happened until now! Of course you’re charging similar to the big cable networks otherwise Mediacom wouldn’t risk losing thousands of customers. According to Mediacom’s website, I know it’s one-sided, Sinclair is charging Mediacom more than any of the other providers even when Mediacom is not the largest. On Sinclair’s press release website:

    Sinclair’s CEO calls Mediacom a near monopolist when later he brags that Sinclair is one of the largest television broadcasting companies.

    I can’t say that I’ve been real pleased with Mediacom’s service but I’m definitely backing them now. They know this thing is a joke!

  10. One question out there for all of the Medicom backers. If Sinclair is supposedly charging so much per subscriber, do you believe they are charging Mediacom more for the same product? If so, Mediacom would have legitimately won a public lawsuit because that would have violated anti-trust laws.

    For folks in Cedar Rapids, do not forget that nearly bankrupt McLeodUSA Cable TV is still carying the local Sinclair station, have lower rates to begin with, and are not raising rates to keep stations. If they can afford to do this, how is it that Mediacom can’t?

    I realize Des Moines folks probably did not know all of this. But think about it, the lawsuit which was overturned was about anti-trust, if Sinclair was really forcing Mediacom to pay more it wouldn’t have been overturned.

    Mediacom has just gotten cheap and greedy and refuses to play well with others.

  11. Hey Tom,

    McLeod isn’t raising rates to keep channels…maybe that’s why they are nearly bankrupt!

  12. Tom,

    Do you think the courts always get it right? If so, then OJ Simpson and Robert Blake are really innocent. Also, then that moron lady who won millions when she spilled hot coffee all over her was deserving of it.

  13. What irks me so much about this deal is that the customers are the ones losing out. As far as I am concerned, the Big 10 ( Iowa sports ) needs to step into this and say look, we gave you the contract based on the numbers for percentage of viewers able to see this game. By doing this, effectively cutting your numbers in half, Iowa Sports should step in and say the contract is now null and void, as they will not be able to produce the number they promised for veiwership of Iowa sports. Sinclair brodcasting is the one who is going to lose out on this. In Cedar Rapids where I live, KGAN is not available over the air in the metro area. This is because its channel 2, and the transformer is so close to the metro area, the signal is unreachable even by antenna. What sinclair is trying to do, is supplement low advertising rates, by charging cable companies for carrying. They do not have the numbers in the metro in CR, to make as much advertising. The other issue, is that I promise, local businesses will not be spending money with commercials for KGAN, when they cant even be sure what the reach will be. Very stupid fight for Sinclair to be doing. Personally, I see no value in my cable bill going up for a local channel I never seem to watch anyways.

  14. I worked in the telecommunications business for over a year and from what I can tell about the general population is that most people will be pissed about this but there is no way in hell they are going to switch to direct tv. Mainly because the population is to lazey to do so. They don’t like change, hell no one likes change this is just a fact of life. So basically most mediacom subscribers are just going to take while just a few of them are going to switch. And oh yeah all satellite companies require you to go through a credit check and if you have bad credit it you have to pay a four hundred dollar deposite and again people with bad credit is the general public. So because of all this sinclair will loose the battle if mediacom holds out and to be honest I hope they do. I have two tv’s in my house and one has cable and the other one is an over the air connection so after december first if I do not see fox on my mediacom tv I am going straight over to the other one and deleting channel 17. I believe this is wrong and I as a member of the general public will not put up with sinclair’s bullshit. Besides fox sucks balls anyways.

  15. I wonder how Sinclair has been able to negotiate with every other cable provider in the country and not Mediacom. Mediacom has a monopoly in the area’s they service and this is typical of monopoly behavior when they don’t get their way.

  16. 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.

  17. Thanks for the info Geoff. If that truly is the case, I’d have to agree that Sinclair probably is at fault here. I still would have liked to seen Mediacom go to their customers, asking what to do. At least some simple survey to decide if people around here would have been willing to pay higher monthly subscription fees to keep KDSM and KGAN.

    The shameless advertising KDSM has been doing for DirecTV is unbelievable. Wonder what sorta kickback Sinclair is getting from DirecTV…

    Anyway, it seems this whole thing would amount to an attack on cable providers, launched by satellite and local broadcast stations. The old Cable vs. Satellite argument.

    Just so you know, it was really difficult for me to basically flip-flop on this like I did. It helps to have some numbers and facts though. Thanks again Geoff.

  18. Well, the other thing which you need to think about, not just with Sinclair, but with any other broadcast company, is are cable customers really paying for local broadcast networks? People get cable to get ESPN, the Disney Channel, HBO, etc. so it makes sense if they have to pay for those, but we tend not to get cable for stations that we can get with an antenae. For this reason, I think that the local affiliates should not be getting the same amount of money as any cable network gets. All Mediacom is doing with them is rebroadcasting a publicly broadcasted signal. Unlike with other networks, Mediacom doesn’t even get blank ad space with broadcast networks, so they can’t even sell ads like they can with cable networks, which helps them reduce some of the costs to customers. If they want an ad on a broadcast network, they have to pay for it.

  19. I agree with the mediacom supporters. What Sinclair is trying to do is outrageous. I’m not PAYING FOR A FREE STATION on my cable bill. This is wrong and I hope mediacom holds out . In fact, maybe mediacom should refuse to carry them after this mess. Screw Sinclair!

  20. I just heard that kdsm is going to cut its advertising prices in half so that they can still gain support but i doubt it will work since over fifty percent of its viewers are on cable.

  21. You folks all need to do some more research. This is not just Iowa. It reaches as far as Florida. Some areas CBS, some Fox, some ABC. McLeodUSA cable is also a local off shoot of McLeodUSA. Their main business is telecom and data services to businesses. The cable has been bought by former McLeodUSA president Steve Gray pending approval anyway. If Sinclair gets away with this cable rates could raise dramatically. Other large media moguls will jump on the bandwagon and soon for $50 bucks a month you’ll be back to watching 3 or 4 channels like the “old days”. I have no love for Mediacom and if Gray gets going I will switch but Sinclair SUCKS! They are trying to set a precedent and if they win watch your rates soar.

  22. i need to say if you get those 76 stations for 45 dollars a month you are still being taken . in waterloo its 58 dollars a month and 15 of those stations are useless and atleast 8 more are the same thing for weeks at a time . mediacom is a rip off .the sinclair deal is just another ploy to get more money for less service . let them close the doors . pack up and get out i for one am tired of being taken advantage of. if and when they offer something worth 60 dollars a month i still wouldnt go back to them for . t v

  23. Let me see if I understand this situation…

    A media company is saying you have to buy a whole package of channels and you can not pay for them a la carte. If you don’t buy the whole package, you don’t get any…

    This is what Sinclair is doing?

    Is this what Disney/ABC/ESPN/ESPN2/Lifetime do?

    Is this what Mediacom does to the end user?

    If you want this problem to stop, write your congressman to get legislation for a la carte cable pricing…it would solve this whole mess.

  24. OK, folks, lots of good stuff, but here’s the bottom line:

    1. McLeod cable isn’t going bankrupt. It’s probably the only profitable venture they have. It doesn’t fit their profile they’re moving ahead with (data), hence the pending sale to (guess who?) previous McLeod chairman Steve Gray and partners!

    2. This argument all revolves around who gets to keep the biggest slice of the “profit pie”. Regardless of all the bickering between Mediacom & Sinclair, it’s all about who keeps the money. If Sinclair charges Mediacom more, Mediacom has two choices…they can pass it on to the customer or take a hit to their profit margin (either partially or in whole). So Mediacom’s real statement to the consumer when they state “Sinclair will cause a rise in your cable rate” is equal to “we’re going to maintain our profit level by passing on any of this increase to you, Mr. Consumer”.

    McLeod has announced they signed their retransmission deal with Sinclair. I hope they rip Mediacom’s heart out here in CR and use this to their best advantage, then turn around and build out the rest of the city and truly equalize their service level and coverage to Mediacom’s to get TRUE competition. I’m tired of unchecked rate increases because there’s noone else competing.

  25. I don’t think it is fair to make people choose Dish when they/I am happy with Medicom. I have had dish and you know darn well that when it snows, storms, rains or is extra windy the dish doesn’t come thru for crap!!!!! And to make me choose between a crap dish and Mediacom, no brainer “Mediacom”. This is a hands down choice, I don’t watch your station that much to change carriers. To bad you think you need all that money from Mediacom and then they have to pass the price hike to us the consumer, sorry not worth the hassel with Sinclair. And besides, if I had just an antenna – would you make me pay for that? HUMMMMMMMMMMMM?????????????????? I don’t think so I would get ride of the antenna, and just buy DVD’s. Think about what you are loosing here Sinclair. Good luck and to bad I won’t be watching 4 shows you have daily. Oh well, hope your happy to loose some consumers.


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