The American Cable Association (ACA) is urging small cable operators to do whatever they can to help stop the merger between Sinclair and Tribune Media. Below is a message to ACA members from Matt Polka:
To our ACA Members:
ACA is encouraging its members to air an important PSA to stop the dangerous Sinclair-Tribune Merger – something that could adversely affect all of us. The Coalition to Save Local Media, the group that came together to fight the Sinclair-Tribune merger, is launching a new national advertising campaign to highlight how the merger would hurt consumers. The Coalition, which includes ACA as a member, is asking members to consider airing the new ad as a PSA in the next several weeks. This ad is already being aired by several NTCA members and two independent networks.
Iowa is a particularly egregious example of the harm that could be caused by Sinclair’s merger of Tribune. If the merger is approved, Sinclair-Tribune will own or operate 14 stations across nine Iowa media markets, including more than one station in Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Sioux City, and Omaha. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) is the Chair of the Judiciary Committee that could hold a hearing on the merger. And that’s why it’s important for not only Sen. Grassley, but also all Members of Congress to see the harm to consumers that will result from this merger.
In general, the larger the broadcaster, the more market power it has to charge consumers excessive fees because of the ultimate leverage a broadcaster retains to black out its programming. If the Sinclair-Tribune merger goes through, the combined company would create the single largest operator of local broadcast stations in the country, owning or operating 230 stations and reaching 72 percent of American households. In many markets, Sinclair will own more than one station or own or operate a station for the first time in that market.
As shown below, Sinclair already charges the highest local TV fees in the nation. Sinclair increased its average monthly per-subscriber fees 43.8% in just one year alone. If the merger is approved, it will have even more unprecedented power to impose even higher ransom-like, anticompetitive costs.
The new Coalition to Save Local Media ads will educate viewers about what the Sinclair-Tribune merger means. It is important to educate consumers across the country, even where Sinclair will not acquire a new Tribune station or does not have a station in the market.
You can watch the Coalition ad, “Coming Soon” here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TTaah63L_7w&feature=youtu.be
If you are interested in airing the ad on your system, please contact Rob Shema of ACA at email@example.com for a broadcast quality version.
Thank you very much for your consideration! I truly appreciate it.
Yours most sincerely,
Lunch & Learn
June 16, 2021
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