It was, perhaps, no surprise to anyone who follows this business that Ed Ansin, owner of Sunbeam Television, was in the middle of a high profile retrans spat until 6 p.m. yesterday, as DirecTV subscribers in Boston were making other plans to watch the Patriots in the Super Bowl on WHDH. (Sunbeam and DirecTV settled yesterday, and the Super Bowl will air on WHDH.)
Ansin turns 76 in March, and has been in the middle of some of the bigger battles in television the last few years, including initially refusing to air Jay Leno’s primetime show (in retrospect, a solid business decision), and suing Nielsen for under-representing viewership, and for what he perceives as a monopoly in the ratings business.
Ansin split his childhood between South Florida and Massachusetts, and that reflects his TV holdings, which are WHDH and WSVN Miami.
Here’s what he told me in 2009, about being in the center of some center-stage broadcasting battles.
“I’m pretty mild-mannered,” Ansin said with a laugh. “But if I see something we have to stand up and contest, I don’t mind doing it.”