Congressmen Ask FCC To Make Sure Viewers Can Watch Alabama Football Game
December 26, 2009
Three Alabama Congressmen are a petitioning the FCC to make sure some WEAR 3 viewers will be able to watch the BCS National Championship game.
Unless WEAR and Mediacom strike a deal by the end of the year, Mediacom cable TV customers will be unable to watch the January 7 national title game between Alabama and Texas. The contract between Mediacom and WEAR expires on December 31. At issue is the amount of money WEAR is paid by Mediacom for the right to retransmit the ABC affiliate’s programming. Mediacom does not want to pay an increase proposed by Sinclair Broadcasting, the parent company of WEAR.
In their letter to the FCC, the three lawmakers — Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Mobile; Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Tuscaloosa, and Rep. Jo Bonner, R-Mobile — asked the FCC to take “appropriate action to ensure that major sporting events such as the BCS National Championship are not held hostage during failed retransmission consent negotiations” as they point out that “thousands of Alabamians will lose the opportunity to watch the Crimson Tide”.
If Mediacom and WEAR can’t reach an agreement, Mediacom customers will also miss LSU and Penn State in the New Year’s Day Capital One Bowl, in addition to all of the regular ABC programming on the Pensacola station.
The last time the two media companies were unable to reach a contract agreement, Mediacom customers were unable to watch WEAR for about a month.
In the North Escambia area, Mediacom is the cable company in Atmore.