Dallas, Texas 07/16/2015 (Financialstrend) – Failure to reach an agreement with Media General Inc (NYSE:MEG) after an expiry of a three-year contract on July 14 means a total of 16 stations in Mediacom’s Cable systems will remain off air. The impasse means that viewers in 14 markets won’t be able to watch their favorite shows on the Big Four broadcast network ranging from KIMT-TV to KRON-TV.
Media General Demands
The blackout came on Media General Inc (NYSE:MEG) reportedly demanding more than twice the amount paid to it in the previous agreement with Mediacom. There are fears that other broadcasters could push for the same demands, which could result in more stations going off air in some of the regions.
Mediacom CEO Rocco Commisso has already asked the Federal Communications Commission to address the rising retransmission fees that threaten to plummet the industry into darkness. There are fears that the fees could soar to $29 billion mostly affecting MVPD customers collectively.
The National Association of Broadcasters, however, warns that the ongoing blackouts are mostly geared towards getting the FCC involved in the issues with a view to forcing regulations instead of finding a long term solution.
Mediacom is remaining firm maintaining it is not going to give into unreasonable demands by Media General Inc (NYSE:MEG) as it always passes any rate increase to its customers. The company says it is going to fight for fair rates all in the effort of protecting the end consumers who always end up carrying the burden in case of price increments.
Mediacom accused Media General Inc (NYSE:MEG) of initiating the blackouts just before the MLB All-star Game on Fox with a view of mounting pressure for a deal. Federal laws give cable companies the right to carry local broadcast channels if the signals are made available with an option of charging a re-transmission fee.