Fans already suffer through blackouts on a regular basis, the proposed merger between Sinclair Broadcasting Group and Tribune Media will do nothing but increase them and all while raising prices on fans.
This team-up would result in the largest local broadcasting conglomerate in America. Sinclair’s history proves that they don’t care about blackouts. They’ve used them regularly as a negotiating tactic against television distributors to charge increased retransmission fees. These costs get passed down to the fans. Imagine coming home and wanting to watch the Falcons, well if the game is on a Sinclair station, you may be surprised to find out; you can’t! These increased frequencies of blackouts will cause consumer prices to rise to insane levels.
Sinclair has a history of blacking out stations, charging insane retransmission fees, and screwing over fans in the process. It’s basically their business game plan. The monopoly that this merger will result in will just exacerbate this issue. Eventually, it will get to a point where fans can’t even afford to watch sports in their living rooms!
That’s why SFC has joined the Coalition to Save Local Media. In their press release Brian Hess stated, “Sinclair's takeover of Tribune would penalize sports fans. Sinclair's history of buying TV stations and then firing the local sports reporters means less coverage of local high school football and basketball games, minor league games, and interviews with local players, coaches, and managers. Sinclair's bullying tactics during contract negotiations with pay-TV providers led to the largest broadcast takedown in U.S. history and if Sinclair acquires Tribune, the problem will only get worse, leaving fans in the dark during playoff games and other key sporting events. As Sinclair demands higher and higher fees from pay-TV providers, those costs will be passed on to consumers, leaving many fans unable to afford to watch their favorite teams on TV. Finally, with Sinclair creating its own sports networks, it will do what other media conglomerates have done and move more games off free over-the-air broadcast to over-priced premium channels. Fans are calling 'foul' on this transaction”
This merger poses a real threat to sports fans across the country, and we promise to be there every step of the way.