Charter, Sinclair Reach Renewal Agreement For Former Fox RSNs
Charter has "struck a deal for renewal" of Sinclair Broadcast Group's stations, which "includes the Fox RSNs," according to CABLE FAX DAILY. The move is a "nice win for Sinclair, with a lot of chatter in the marketplace on how difficult RSN renewal may be given that Disney sold them for less than expected" (CABLEFAX.com, 6/11). That Charter and Sinclair reached an agreement early and without public rancor is surprising to many in the business. Sinclair has a reputation among distributors as a particularly tough negotiator. The company was expected to drive a particularly hard bargain by combining the RSNs with its local broadcast stations, and some expected increases to approach double digits (John Ourand, SBJ Media). AWFUL ANNOUNCING's Andrew Bucholtz noted the two sides "already finding agreement on carriage terms is certainly notable, especially as many were expecting significant battles to gain continued RSN carriage." The Charter deal being "locked up so early seems like great news for the future of these networks." The RSNs' future carriage was "widely seen as one of their largest points of vulnerability, and now Sinclair has a deal with one of the earliest-expiring providers" (AWFULANNOUNCING.com, 6/12).