Recently, a group of local ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC TV station owners agreed to settle a lawsuit that claims they conspired together to raise and fix the price of television spot ads.
The settlement from this lawsuit includes individuals and entities who purchased broadcast television spot advertising from CBS, Cox Media, Dreamcatcher Broadcasting, FOX, Griffin Communications, Meredith Corp., Nexstar Media, Raycom Media, E.W. Scripps, Sinclair Broadcast, TEGNA, Tribune Broadcasting and/or Tribune Media in designated market areas between Jan. 1, 2014, and Dec. 31, 2018 according to a report online.
This lawsuit was related to locally sold broadcast television spot ads, not the nationally sold ads by the networks themselves. Typically, during a commercial break, a few ad spots are set aside for local TV stations to sell; others are sold by the networks.
The defendants didn’t admit any wrongdoing but agreed to pay $48 million to settle the claims. Cox agreed to pay $37 million, Fox will pay $6 million, and CBS agreed to pay $5 million.
Update: Sinclair and Nexstar have confirmed to Cord Cutters News that they are a part of this case but have not agreed to this settlement. They are still fighting it in court. Only Fox, Fox, and CBS agreed to settle for the $48 million.
If anyone wants to claim part of this settlement, they need to file before October 26th, 2023. You can learn more about this lawsuit settlement HERE.
This all comes as local TV ads have been hit hard in 2023 by the downturn in advertising overall. With more options than ever to place your ads, local TV broadcasters are struggling to fill ad spots at the same way they did in 2022.