Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Federal anti-trust lawsuit filed against KSN owner

A federal anti-trust lawsuit was filed September 2 in U. S. District Court for the District of Columbia against Nexstar Broadcasting, which owns KSNF and operates KODE in Joplin and owns KOZL and operates KOLR in Springfield.

The government's lawsuit claims that Nexstar's January 16 $4.6 billion purchase of Media General stations creates advertising monopolies in the Roanoke-Lynchburg,Virginia, Terre Haute, Indiana, Fort Wayne, Indiana, Green Bay-Appleton, Wisconsin, Lafayette, Louisiana, and Davenport, Iowa-Rock Hill/Moline, Illnois markets.

The situation is particularly egregious in the Terre Haute market, where Nexstar already owned one station, has the same arrangement with a Mission Broadcasting station that it has in Joplin and Springfield. Adding the Media General station will give Nexstar 100 percent of the broadcast television advertising market, according to the petition.

If consummated, the proposed acquisition would eliminate the substantial head-to-head competition that currently exists between Nexstar and Media General and likely result in (1) higher prices for broadcast television spot advertising in each of the DMA Markets; and (2) higher licensing fees for the retransmission of broadcast television programming to MVPD subscribers in each of the DMA Markets.  

The lawsuit also notes that the sale would cause problems during negotiation of retransmission contracts, where cable and satellite companies could be threatened with the loss of programming from two major networks

Of course, that situation already exists in both the Joplin and Springfield areas with Nexstar controlling KSNF and KODE and Saga Broadcasting controlling KOAM and KFJX in Joplin and Nexstar controlling KOLR and KZOL and Gray Television owns KYTV and operates Schurz Communications KSPR.

No comments: