A company that installs TV antennas is the only thing standing between Gray Television and its purchase of Las Vegas Fox affiliate KVVU from Meredith Corporation.
The company, Mr. Antenna of Las Vegas, has asked the FCC to block the transfer of KVVU’s license to Gray Television from Meredith after the $2.7 billion sale was announced in May.
The TV antenna installer has charged that Meredith stopped airing its ads because it saw the company as a “competitive threat.” Mr. Antenna told the FCC that the station-wide policy is tied to Meredith’s retransmission consent revenue, which is related to the number of cable subscribers in a given market. Stations can’t charge viewers who watch their content using an antenna.
“From April 2019 until this year, Mr. Antenna advertised its outdoor antenna products and services on KVVU-TV,” the company told the commission. “In late June 2021, however, KVVU notified Mr. Antenna that effective July 1, 2021, KVVU would no longer accept advertising from vendors whose products presented a ‘cord-cutting’ alternative to cable service.”
If the sale does go through, the antenna installer wants the FCC to require Gray to stop “denying reasonable requests for airtime from vendors of television antennas” as a condition of the sale. It also wants the policy “applied to all of the Meredith television licenses that Gray acquires as a result of the transaction.”
On its website, Mr. Antenna encourages people to cut the cable cord, claiming that more than 20% of the population are using antennas to receive TV signals. It also said the FCC “is committed to over the air TV.”
Meredith told Nexttv it “rejects the claims in the Informal Objection and will be filing a response.” TVSpy has also reached out to Meredith for confirmation, but we haven’t heard back.
>UPDATE: A Meredith spokesperson also told TVSpy, “Meredith rejects the claims in the Informal Objection and will be filing a response.”