FCC Dismisses Sinclair, Buckeye Complaints

Network nondupe, retrans complaints dropped after deal
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The FCC has dismissed the complaints filed by Sinclair and Buckeye Cablevision, ending the Washington wrangling that accompanied their months-long retransmission consent impasse.

Both sides signaled they would withdraw the complaints after they finally struck a two-year deal last week.

Sinclair's WNWO-TV had been off Buckeye's system since December 16 after the previous retrans deal expired without a new one.

Sinclair had filed a complaint alleging that Buckeye had failed to provide WNWO with network nonduplication protection, while Buckeye countered with a retrans complaint alleging WNWO did not negotiate in good faith, which the FCC is authorized to enforce.

The two jointly asked the FCC to dismiss the complaints with prejudice, essentially meaning they could not be refiled and case closed.

The FCC concluded that dismissing the complaints was in the public interest because it "promoted private resolution of disputes" and because the FCC—and the parties—would not have to expend any more time and resources on it.

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