FCC hits Sinclair-operated stations with $9 million fine

The Federal Communications Commission this week announced a $9 million fine against more than a dozen television stations operated by the Sinclair Broadcast Group.

The fines are connected to a complaint made by AT&T two years ago in which the pay television company said the stations were not engaged in good faith negotiations over an extended retransmission consent contract.

Each of the 19 stations are operated by Sinclair Broadcast Group through a sales or local programming agreement, though the FCC said Sinclair itself was not a party to the enforcement order published on Wednesday.

Each broadcast outlet will have to pay more than $512,000 as part of the FCC’s enforcement order. The owner of Kansas-based television station KMTW (Channel 36) will only have to pay $30,000 after the FCC was persuaded by an argument made by parent company Mercury that the station would not be able to pay the maximum penalty.

The other defendants covered by the order are Deerfield Media, LLC.; GoCom Media; MPS Media; Nashville License Holdings; KMTR Television; Second Generation of Iowa and Waitt Broadcasting, Inc.

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