FCC to Fine Sinclair $13.3M Over Failed Ad Disclosures

12/15/17

The FCC is going to fine Sinclair Broadcast Group (SBGI +1.5%) $13.3M over bad disclosure of paid programming, Reuters reports.

Commercials that looked like news stories were part of 1,700 spots that were paid for by Utah-based Huntsman Cancer Institute -- a fact not properly disclosed by Sinclair, the country's biggest owner of local broadcast stations.

Sinclair had previously told reporters that the violations were unintentional, but the fine is likely to give ammo to opponents of Sinclair's market-changing bid for Tribune Media (TRCO +0.6%) -- a deal that would let the conservative-leaning broadcaster reach 72% of television households if FCC rule changes on audience caps come about.

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