Sinclair’s Inadequate RFI Response Requires Prompt Action by the FCC
Washington, DC – November 2, 2017 – Today, in comments filed with the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or “Commission”), Competitive Carriers Association (“CCA”) encouraged the Commission to suspend the 180-day transition shot clock on the proposed transaction between Tribune Media Company (“Tribune”) and Sinclair Broadcasting Group (“Sinclair”) as a result of Sinclair’s failure to provide an adequate response to the Commission’s first Request for Information (“RFI”). Specifically, Sinclair did not address the Transaction’s effect on the 600 MHz incentive auction repack and did not provide documentation on ATSC 3.0, and CCA encouraged the Commission to further suspend the shot clock until Sinclair provides documents and details and issue a second RFI to ensure a complete review of the Transaction is completed.
In a statement, CCA President & CEO Steven K. Berry said, “Sinclair’s failure to provide adequate documents and responses to the FCC’s first RFI is very concerning, and the FCC should not let these important questions go unanswered when trying to evaluate the impact the proposed transaction would have on the industry, competition, and most importantly, consumers. Competitive carriers spent valuable time and financial resources purchasing spectrum in the 600 MHz auction, and with the important repacking stage up next, it is critically important to understand the impact that a merger of this size will have on the repacking process. Any delay in the 39-month timeframe will harm consumers, the economy and carriers that purchased the spectrum, and with so much riding on the line, Sinclair must be required to provide sufficient documents and responses.”
“Specifically, Sinclair has not provided documentation on ATSC 3.0, which is a critical element of Sinclair’s long-term objective to enter the mobile broadband and online video distribution markets. Many carriers, equipment manufacturers, broadcasters and more will be affected by an ATSC 3.0 mandate. A more fulsome review is needed, and CCA encourages the Commission to continue to pause the transaction shot clock until Sinclair and Tribune have provided necessary answers to the numerous and significant repack-related harms not included in the RFI.”
CCA is the nation’s leading association for competitive wireless providers and stakeholders across the United States. The licensed service area of CCA’s nearly 100 carrier members covers 95 percent of the nation. Visit www.ccamobile.org.
# # #