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Mediacom Drops Sinclair Appeal

Mediacom Communications dropped an appeal, to the Eighth Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals, of a federal court ruling in its ongoing retransmission-consent dispute with Sinclair Broadcast Group, according to Sinclair.

The decision that was being appealed was by a federal court in Iowa, denying Mediacom's motion for a preliminary injunction that would have let Mediacom continue to carry the signals of Sinclair stations.

Sinclair and Mediacom have agreed to extend carriage rights to 22 TV stations until Jan. 5 while they continue to negotiate compensation terms. Sinclair described the Mediacom appeal as frivolous.

Meanwhile, the Iowa Press-Citizen newspaper reported Monday that Mediacom was in talks with a Quad City, Iowa, CBS affiliate, WHBF, to join the cable company's Iowa City lineup in the event Sinclair's CBS station, KGAN of Cedar Rapids, is dropped. The paper quoted a Mediacom official as saying the addition was legal under federal regulations because Iowa City is located between the two stations' transmitters.

Mediacom general counsel Joseph Young said in a prepared statement Wednesday that Mediacom dismissed the appeal since the court decision was likely to come after the Jan. 5 termination date of its agreement with Sinclair.

“We thought it was a better use of our resources to focus on winning the underlying case as well as our separate FCC complaint, Young added. “We continue to believe that we have a good case and will prevail on the merits.”