Sinclair Agrees to Pay $9.5 Million to FCC

BALTIMORE—Sinclair Broadcast Group has agreed to pay $9.495 million to the Federal Communications Commission in a Consent Decree resolving a number of previously disclosed matters that have been pending at the agency, some for more than a decade, and several involving recently acquired stations, the broadcaster said today. The matters related to certain content broadcast on Sinclair stations, technical issues relating to local marketing agreements, and the FCC’s rule regarding joint retransmission consent negotiations.

The FCC has dismissed all pending claims against Sinclair in the Media Bureau and will now issue license renewals for 90 television stations. As part of the settlement, Sinclair agreed to make a payment of $9.495 million.

The FCC did not find Sinclair to be at fault in connection with any of the matters addressed in the Consent Decree, nor did Sinclair admit any liability with respect thereto. his Consent Decree, and the dismissals of other pending matters, brings closure to all of these issues and allows Sinclair to focus on the future.

“2017 will begin a new era for broadcasting, with the post-auction repack and the initial rollout of Next Generation TV (or ATSC 3.0), and clearing this backlog sets the stage for that,” said Rebecca Hanson, senior vice president of Strategy and Policy for Sinclair. “We look forward to starting this next chapter with a clean slate in the Media Bureau and to help lead the way through the challenges and opportunities to come.”