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Broadcast Law Blog

Category Archives: Cable Carriage

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Not Dead Yet – Aereo Tries To Reinvent Itself By Arguing that it is a Cable System Entitled to Carry Television Stations Pursuant to the Statutory License

Posted in Cable Carriage, Digital Television, Intellectual Property, Internet Video, On Line Media, Television
The Supreme Court decision in the Aereo case seemed to be the end of the line for the service that was retransmitting television stations signals without consent, as it found that the broadcasters were entitled to an injunction to force Aereo to cease the public performance of their signals without consent.  In fact, Aereo itself … Continue Reading

FCC Fines Cable System $2.25 Million for Retransmitting TV Stations Without Consent

Posted in Cable Carriage, FCC Fines, Television
The FCC yesterday issued an order imposing a $2.25 Million fine on a set of companies that operated a system that retransmitted TV signals to households in large housing units in the Houston area.  The system had paid retransmission consent fees to the TV stations, then stopped doing so, claiming that it was changing so … Continue Reading

Effective Date of FCC Prohibition on Joint Negotiation of TV Retransmission Consent Agreements Announced

Posted in Cable Carriage, Multiple Ownership Rules, Television
In today’s Federal Register, the FCC is published its new rule on prohibiting the joint negotiation of retransmission consent agreements by stations that are not commonly owned.  According to the notice, “it is a violation of the duty to negotiate retransmission consent in good faith for a television broadcast station that is ranked among the … Continue Reading

FCC Extends Comment Deadlines on Proceedings on Multilingual Emergency Information and Network Nonduplication/Syndicated Exclusivity Repeal, and Announces Incentive Auction Rules are on the Agenda for May 15 Meeting

Posted in Broadband Report, Cable Carriage, Digital Television, Emergency Communications, Low Power Television/Class A TV, Television
Some quick items to update some of our recent articles.  The FCC has granted extensions of time to comment in two rulemaking proceedings, and released its tentative agenda for its next open meeting where it will adopt an initial order in the incentive auction proceeding.  That’s the proceeding that we most recently wrote about here … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Hears Oral Argument in the Aereo Case – A Summary of the Issues and a Prediction

Posted in Cable Carriage, Digital Television, Internet Video, On Line Media, Television
The Supreme Court heard the oral arguments in the Aereo case yesterday, it has received all the briefs, and now we all just wait for a decision – to probably be released late in June before the Court’s summer recess.  The transcript of yesterday’s oral argument has been released and is available here.  It makes … Continue Reading

Comment Dates Set on FCC’s Proposed Elimination of the Network Nonduplication and Syndicated Exclusivity Rules – Comments to be Filed by May 12

Posted in Cable Carriage, Programming Regulations, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Television
The FCC is now taking comments on the proposal to do away with the syndicated exclusivity and network nonduplication protection rules.  The Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, about which we wrote here, was published in the Federal Register today, giving interested parties until May 12 to file their initial comments, and until June 9 to … Continue Reading

Details of the FCC Decision Prohibiting the Joint Negotiation of Retransmission Consent By Local TV Stations and Starting Proceeding to Examine Syndex and Network Nonduplication Protections

Posted in Cable Carriage, Television
While we are waiting for the full text of the FCC’s decision  taken Monday on the multiple ownership rules, rolling one Quadrennial Review into another and prohibiting most Joint Sales Agreements, we can look in more detail at the FCC’s decision on retransmission consent issues.  We wrote about the historical background of both of these … Continue Reading

FCC Attributes JSAs, to Examine SSAs and Network Nonduplication and Syndex Rules – A Return to the 1980s?

Posted in Cable Carriage, Multiple Ownership Rules, Television
The FCC meeting yesterday proposed to attribute Joint Sales Agreements (making them “count” for multiple ownership purposes – meaning that one broadcaster can’t do a JSA with another station unless it can own the other station).  The Commission also apparently kicked the can down the road on all other multiple ownership matters – not changing … Continue Reading

FCC March 31 Agenda to Consider TV JSAs and Retransmission Consent Issues – Lots of Controversy for TV Broadcasters

Posted in Cable Carriage, Multiple Ownership Rules, Television
The agenda is out, and the FCC’s likely action on their Quadrennial Review of the multiple ownership rules now seems to be much clearer.  And the decision seems likely to follow the rumors circulating in Washington for weeks (about which we have written here and here), with new regulatory wrinkles added to those previously suggested.  … Continue Reading

Be on the Alert for EAS Tones in Non-Emergency Situations – Big FCC Fines for These Violations and Other EAS Issues

Posted in Advertising Issues, Cable Carriage, Emergency Communications, FCC Fines
The FCC has recently staked out a policy that the any use of EAS tones, or tones that sound like those alerts, outside of a real emergency, will lead to big fines.  Since the beginning of the year, the FCC has issued notices proposing fines totaling over $2.2 million against some of the biggest media … Continue Reading

What’s Up With TV Shared Services Agreements?

Posted in Cable Carriage, Multiple Ownership Rules, Television
TV Shared Services Agreements have been one of the targets of public interest groups since the start of the current Quadrennial Review of the FCC’s multiple ownership rules (see our articles here, here, here and here).  Public interest groups, in their zeal to stop any media consolidation (including newspaper/broadcast cross-ownership – even if that prohibition … Continue Reading

What’s Up in Washington For Broadcasters in 2014? — Part 2, Issues beyond the FCC Including Ad Taxes, Music Royalties, Privacy Reforms, and More

Posted in Advertising Issues, Broadcast Performance Royalty, Cable Carriage, General FCC, Intellectual Property, Internet Radio, Internet Video, Music Rights, On Line Media, Privacy
We recently wrote about FCC issues that will be facing broadcasters in this new year.  While broadcasters will no doubt be busy keeping track of what the FCC is up to, they also need to have their eyes on other government agencies, as there are numerous issues that may come from Congress and the other … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Decides to Review Aereo – Why This is Not the New Betamax Case

Posted in Cable Carriage, Digital Television, Intellectual Property, Internet Video, On Line Media, Television
The Supreme Court on Friday announced that is has decided to review the decision of a US Appeals Court in New York finding that the Aereo service of retransmitting over the Internet the signals of local television stations, without permission from or payment to those stations, was legal.  We wrote about the Second Circuit Court … Continue Reading

What’s Up in Washington For Broadcasters in 2014? — Part 1, FCC Issues

Posted in AM Radio, Broadband Report, Cable Carriage, Digital Television, FM Radio, FM Translators and LPFM, General FCC, Indecency, Internet Video, Multiple Ownership Rules, Noncommercial Broadcasting, Political Broadcasting, Programming Regulations, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Television, Uncategorized
It is the beginning of another year – and a time to look ahead to look ahead at what broadcasters should expect from Washington in the coming year.  With so many issues on the table, we’ll divide the issues into two parts – talking about FCC issues today, and issues from Capitol Hill and elsewhere … Continue Reading

Odds and Ends – Divestiture Trusts, Shared Services Agreements and Determinations of Significantly Viewed Stations

Posted in Assignments and Transfers, Cable Carriage, General FCC, Multiple Ownership Rules, Television, Uncategorized
Sometimes the FCC decisions come out in a flurry, often with little nuggets of importance in each one.  Rather than trying to write about each one, we’ll from time to time, just try to highlight those nuggets for your consideration.  At the end of last week, three decisions came out with just such nuggets – … Continue Reading

The Courts Continue To Split on Streaming TV Services – As Boston Court Denies TV Broadcasters Request for an Injunction Against Aereo

Posted in Cable Carriage, Digital Television, Intellectual Property, Internet Video, On Line Media
The battle over services that record and stream over-the-air TV without compensation to TV broadcasters has become even more confusing, with a US District Court judge in Boston denying an injunction to stop the Aereo service in Massachusetts in a suit brought by Hearst Corporation, which owns a local TV station. This decision comes on the … Continue Reading

Aereo Court Decision Permits Internet Streaming of TV Programs Without Royalties – Undermining the Public Performance Right?

Posted in Cable Carriage, Digital Television, Intellectual Property, Internet Video, Music Rights, On Line Media, Television, Website Issues
We’ve written extensively about copyright issues for audio services, but the big copyright decision that recently made headlines is a TV issue, though one that could have an impact on audio as well. That was the Second Circuit decision in the Aereo case – upholding a lower court decision allowing a company to retransmit over-the-air TV signals … Continue Reading

Gazing Into the Crystal Ball – What Washington Has In Store For Broadcasters in 2013

Posted in Broadband Report, Broadcast Performance Royalty, Cable Carriage, EEO Compliance/Diversity, FM Radio, FM Translators and LPFM, General FCC, Indecency, Internet Radio, Low Power Television/Class A TV, Multiple Ownership Rules, Music Rights, On Line Media, Political Broadcasting, Privacy, Programming Regulations, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Television
Every year, about this time, I dust off the crystal ball to offer a look at the year ahead to see what Washington has in store for broadcasters. This year, like many in the recent past, Washington will consider important issues for both radio and TV, as well as issues affecting the growing on-line presence of … Continue Reading

Extension of Time for Comments on Whether an Internet Delivered Video Service Is an MVPD Under the Communications Act

Posted in Cable Carriage, Internet Video
As we wrote last month, the Commission has asked for public comment on whether an Internet delivered video programming service can qualify under the FCC rules and the Communications Act to be treated as a multichannel video programming distributor (an "MVPD").  While the FCC has in the past determined that an MVPD needs to have facilities … Continue Reading

Online Video Services Prompt FCC to Ask for Comments on Definition of MVPD

Posted in Cable Carriage, Internet Video, On Line Media, Television
As technology changes, the definitions in the FCC rules don’t always keep up.  In a public notice released last Friday, the FCC asked for public comment on what its definition of an "MVPD" – Multichannel Video Programming Distributor – means for purposes of its program access rules. These rules limit exclusive contracts for certain programming that one … Continue Reading

Must-carry or Retransmission Consent? Television Stations Must Notify Cable and Satellite Operators by October 1st

Posted in Cable Carriage, Digital Television, Television
Just a reminder that by October 1, Television stations must once again make their triennial carriage elections.  By that date, TV stations must notify the local cable systems and satellite carriers in their market in writing as to whether the station intends to be carried pursuant to must-carry or a retransmission consent agreement for the … Continue Reading

FCC Issues Report to Congress on Access to In-State Television Programming

Posted in Cable Carriage, Programming Regulations, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Television
The FCC just issued a Report to Congress concerning the access of television viewers to in-state television stations.  This report was requested by Congress as part of STELA (the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act), which extended the compulsory license for direct to home satellite television operators (DISH and DirecTV) - a license which gives them copyright clearances to retransmit all the … Continue Reading

FCC Seeks Comments on Implementation of CALM Act Regulating Loud Commercials on Broadcast and Cable Television

Posted in Advertising Issues, Cable Carriage, Digital Television, Television
In December, the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation (“CALM”) Act was adopted by Congress and signed by the President, addressing consumer complaints about television commercials that seem louder than the program content that they accompanied. As we wrote in our summary of the Act when it was adopted, Congress has long received many complaints about loud commercials … Continue Reading

Comments on Television Retransmission Consent Rules due to FCC by May 27

Posted in Cable Carriage, Digital Television, Television
The Commission’s recent Notice of Proposed Rule Making exploring possible changes to the television retransmission consent rules has now been published in the Federal Register setting the date for Comments as May 27th, with Reply Comments due by June 27.  As we wrote about recently (here), the FCC has commenced a rule making to consider … Continue Reading