Mediacom may drop Fox 17, Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. wants more money

Remember childhood when arguments over the last cookie or for the next turn on the swing set next were common? Well, those days of meaningless arguments are not over and now they are occurring between two powerhouse companies in a fight for more money. This is the feud between Mediacom and Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. It may affect the lives of over 800,000 people if it is not resolved soon. The feud began several months ago, Mediacom cable subscribers were teetering in the balance. Over the past six months Mediacom has made several offers to renew its contract with the Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc., so that Mediacom could continue to carry KDSM FOX 17, but all offers were rejected. Sinclair demanded to be paid more to allow Mediacom to carry FOX 17. The Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. website,, stated, “Without broadcast stations like FOX 17, the package of channels that Mediacom has to sell would be less desirable and therefore less valuable. Mediacom makes more money by being able to include broadcast stations in its offering and like any business should pay to acquire such assets.” Mediacom, according to, believes that “Sinclair is demanding millions of dollars from Mediacom and its customers for the right to carry its stations on Mediacom cable systems. [Mediacom] believes that Sinclair’s demands are exorbitant, devoid of market realities, and not in the best interests of its customers.” “I think what these two companies are doing is really embarrassing,” senior Phillip Uhde said, “Now I won’t be able to watch quality shows like Judge Mathis and early morning infomercials.” Oct. 25 the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa decided in favor of the Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. and “denied the motion of Mediacom Communications Corp. seeking a preliminary injunction to allow Mediacom to continue to carry television stations owned and/or programmed by Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc. after Mediacom’s contractual right to do so terminates.” This means that if an agreement is not made between these two parties before Mediacom’s contract with Sinclair expires Nov. 30, 2006, then FOX 17 would no longer be shown on Mediacom cable services until an agreement can be made. Since this stalemate doesn’t appear to resolve itself anytime soon, Sinclair took the initiative and is “helping” their Mediacom customers. They have decided to team up with DirecTV, a company they still have a deal with, and Sinclair “will pay you $150 (by means of a rebate) if you switch to DirecTV and comply with certain requirements.” In reality, Sinclair is giving Mediacom viewers $10 off each of their first 15 months subscribed to DirecTV if they switch. On top of that, the viewer must agree to a 12-month subscription (24-months if High Definition or DVR is desired) for Sinclair to offer this rebate. “I think this feud is really sad, and if this affected me at all, I would be really upset, but I don’t have cable.” junior John McClelland said. At this point and time, this disagreement is going to create a major shakeup with the television business. If a Mediacom subscriber would still want to be able to watch FOX 17, the subscriber would either have to go back to basic cable or choose another cable/satellite provider by Nov. 30, 2006. “This childish bickering between these two humongous corporations doesn’t help either’s image and has only caused problems for us as the viewers.” sophomore Julia Reynolds said. “Hopefully, an agreement can be settled soon and everyone can once again live in harmony.”