(Image credit: FCC)
WASHINGTON—Sinclair Broadcasting Group has agreed to pay a $48 million civil penalty to the FCC, the largest ever paid by a broadcaster, the commission said. The penalty is twice the prior record for a broadcaster, which was the $24 million paid by Univision in 2007. The broadcaster will also have to “abide by a strict compliance plan” in order to close three open investigations. The announcement closes a nearly year-long investigation into the company’s disclosure of information relating to its proposed acquisition of stations owned by Tribune Media. The agreement also closes investigations into whether the company has met its obligations to negotiate retransmission consent agreements in good faith and its failure to identify the sponsor of content it produced and supplied to both Sinclair and non-Sinclair television stations. “Sinclair’s conduct during its attempt to merge with Tribune was completely unacceptable,” said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai.
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