The Federal Communications Commission has slapped Mission Broadcasting with a $150,000 fine following complaint from Comcast.
The complaint, originally filed in December 2022, accused Mission Broadcasting and Nexstar for failing to “negotiate retransmission consent in good faith.”
This comes as local TV stations and cable companies have increasingly been at odds. Local networks have been demanding more money from cable TV providers. In many cases, channels have gone dark for viewers when parties fail to reach an agreement.
Mission and Nexstar collectively own and license more than 200 broadcast stations — half of those are carried by Comcast.
“Among other allegations, Comcast asserts that Mission, licensee of New York, NY television station WPIX, breached its statutory duty to negotiate in good faith,” the FCC said earlier this month. “Comcast claims that Mission did so by conditioning retransmission consent on Comcast’s acceptance of contract proposals that were presumptively inconsistent with competitive marketplace considerations because they would foreclose the filing of future complaints with the Commission.”
Mission has 30 days to pay the fee or file a statement to reduce or eliminate it.
The FCC said it was only addressing a “subset” of allegations against Mission, and Comcast’s complaint against Nexstar are still under review and “pending the outcome of ongoing investigations.”
“Nexstar does not dispute that it made the proposals identified by Comcast when negotiating as the representative of WPIX, or that those proposals would have foreclosed the filing of certain complaints with the Commission,” the FCC said.
Comcast’s complaint against Nexstar follows the media company’s dispute with DIRECTV. Last summer, Nexstar was ordered to repay DIRECTV millions with interest.