The Sinclair Merger Is a Potential Game Changer
The media landscape could change dramatically, and conservatives might just have reason to cheer.
There has been a lot of talk about the Sinclair-Tribune merger. The Left, which has long viewed conservative-leaning Sinclair Broadcasting as a boogeyman of sorts, is against it. Surprisingly, some voices on the Right have opposed it as well.
Foremost among them is former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay. In an op-ed for Politico, DeLay cites the national reach of the new Sinclair as a reason to block it. However, when compared to the AT&T/Time Warner merger, it’s kind of a baby. Sinclair and Tribune don’t have any interest in satellite TV providers. They don’t own any cable providers. They’re not building cell phones. It’s comparing apples to watermelons. For the record, the AT&T/Time Warner merger probably ought to go through as well.
Sinclair-Tribune would own stations covering 72% of the country, and it may be seen as raising prices in some areas. But there is another factor that is a potential game-changer: The potential to create a sixth broadcast network to compete with ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and the CW.
Fox News, when it emerged, got the Right on the field of cable news. As a result, the Left lost a lot more, largely because it became harder to keep some things under wraps. But the Left responded by pressing their advantage in crafting and pushing a narrative, thanks to Hollywood.
Through a combination of news, daytime talk and entertainment, the Left pushes its narrative through the small screen, and for all the talk of the many cable and streaming services, broadcast TV still has huge audiences. If Sinclair emerges as a sixth broadcast network, and the only Right-leaning one, the media terrain will have shifted because then, the Right would actually be on the field with entertainment, daytime talk and broadcast news.
Fox News, incidentally, has been dominating the ratings in cable news. It’s a fair bet that if Sinclair decided to go the broadcast network route, the same could happen. The new media terrain would be good news.