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US: Sinclair hits back at merger critics

 |  August 24, 2017

Sinclair Broadcast Group fired back at critics of its plan to acquire Tribune Media for US$3.9 billion and become the nation’s largest broadcaster, saying the deal will create scale and efficiencies that will ensure the future of free, over-the-air television.

Hunt Valley-based Sinclair filed a petition with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) opposing numerous requests for the government to deny the acquisition. Groups such Dish Network, the American Cable Association, Free Press, Public Knowledge and Common Cause have filed such requests with the FCC.

Chris Ripley, Sinclair’s president and CEO, said in a statement Wednesday the company “firmly believes in the mission of local broadcasting. … This acquisition will help to ensure the future of the free and local television model for both Tribune and Sinclair’s local communities.”

Sinclair, which has grown by gobbling up station ownership groups, says broadcasters face increasing competitive pressures from online streaming services that produce content, cable programming networks and services such as Dish Network.

“The natural synergies of bringing Sinclair and Tribune together will enable the combined company to invest in unique programming that addresses the news, information, and public safety needs of local communities — programming that will continue to be completely free for the tens of millions of households that do not or cannot subscribe to a paid multi-channel video service,” Sinclair said in its petition filed late on Tuesday, August 22.

Full Content: CED Magazine

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