Harsh Words for Broadcasters from Mediacom CEO

In a letter addressed to Senate Communications Subcommittee Chair John Kerry, Mediacom CEO Rocco Commisso has accused TV broadcasters of “economic blackmail.” He added:

… as the recent Sinclair/Fox experiences demonstrate, the [retransmission consent] system is broken. Consumers are being harmed both by the uncertainty created by broadcasters’ threats to allow their signals to ‘go dark’ and, over the longer term, by the increased costs that are the product of a negotiating process that allows broadcasters to hold consumers hostage.

Cable operators like Mediacom, Suddenlink, and others can only “retransmit” broadcast TV station signals if they secure the “consent” of the broadcast station owners. Increasingly, these owners demand cash payments in exchange for their consent; and failing operator agreement to the owners’ terms, the owners often demand that the operators drop the affected TV stations from their lineups.


    • FYI Editor says

      I’m not sure I understand the genesis of your concern. Fox affiliates televise American Idol, and to the best of my knowledge, wherever there’s a Fox affiliate, Suddenlink carries it. That means all Suddenlink customers should be able to watch American Idol on Fox.