Mediacom Gets Last-Minute Reprieve With Sinclair

An eleventh-hour temporary extension to signal carriage agreements between the Sinclair Broadcast Group and Mediacom will keep Sinclair stations on 22 cable systems at least until early January.

Initially, negotiations to renew the retransmission agreement had failed and the plug was to have been pulled on Dec. 1 with the expiration of the existing contract.

The blackout would have involved Sinclair stations in 16 Mediacom markets located in 12 states. It is estimated that potentially some 800,000 cable subscribers would have been affected.

The initial dispute between the two parties arose over reimbursement by Mediacom for retransmission of Sinclair broadcasts. While Mediacom was seeking relief through the courts, Sinclair was advising cable subscribers to switch their service to DirecTV and had even offered a rebate to those subscribers.

Baltimore-based Sinclair reported on its Web site that a temporary agreement would be in place until Jan. 7, 2007, and stated that additional details would be available later. Mediacom only stated that an extension for signal carriage had been obtained.