The Desk appreciates the support of readers who purchase products or services through links on our website. Learn more...

FCC probes Standard General’s proposed acquisition of TEGNA

The federal agency wants more clarity on how Standard General would negotiate re-transmission agreements with cable, satellite and streaming services.

The federal agency wants more clarity on how Standard General would negotiate re-transmission agreements with cable, satellite and streaming services.

The head of the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Media Bureau is asking attorneys at Standard General to explain how it would negotiate with cable and satellite providers if it acquires local broadcast company TEGNA.

In a letter sent to Standard General’s lawyers last week, the FCC demanded an explanation as to how the firm’s acquisition of more than 60 broadcast licenses and associated properties would serve the public interest.

The agency also wants information on how Standard General would negotiate with pay TV platforms like cable, satellite and streaming services when it comes to carriage deals for TEGNA’s stations. As The Desk reported last month, TEGNA’s carriage fees from cable and satellite operators surpassed its advertising revenue for the first time in 2021.

TEGNA has been involved in several disputes with pay television providers over the cost of its re-transmission fees on cable and satellite. A blackout with DirecTV left satellite viewers without access to NFL games aired on TEGNA-owned CBS, NBC and Fox affiliates last year. At the time, DirecTV’s then-parent company AT&T accused TEGNA of demanding its largest-ever price increase for access to the stations. Earlier this year, TEGNA and Dish Network ended a months-long stalemate on a similar issue.

In February, Standard General agreed to buy TEGNA for $5.4 billion in cash. The deal was backed by Apollo Global Management, a New York-based investment firm.

Get stories like these in your inbox, plus free breaking news alerts on business and policy matters involving media and tech.

Get stories like these in your inbox, plus free breaking news alerts on business and policy matters involving media and tech.

Photo of author

About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is a nationally-recognized, award-winning journalist who has covered the business of media, technology, radio and television for more than 11 years. He is the publisher of The Desk and contributes to Know Techie, Digital Content Next and StreamTV Insider. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, the Walt Disney Company, McNaughton Newspapers and Tribune Broadcasting.
Home » News » FCC probes Standard General’s proposed acquisition of TEGNA