Broadcast Law Blog

Broadcast Law Blog

Category Archives: Digital Radio

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FCC Proposals for AM Radio Part 2 – Comment Deadline Dates, Site Moves and Unaddressed Questions

Posted in AM Radio, Digital Radio, FM Translators and LPFM
A few weeks ago, we wrote about the most immediate part of the FCC’s plan for the revitalization of AM radio – providing more FM translators for AM stations.  As the FCC has just announced the deadline dates for the filing of public comments on the reform proposals, setting the comment deadline for January 21 … Continue Reading

December 1 Deadline for Biennial Ownership Reports Begins A Busy Regulatory Month for Broadcasters

Posted in Broadcast Auctions, Digital Radio, FCC Fees, General FCC, License Renewal, Noncommercial Broadcasting
All commercial broadcasters (AM/FM/TV and even LPTV) have to file their Biennial Ownership Reports on December 1, beginning a very busy month in the broadcaster’s regulatory world.  December 1 is also the deadline for noncommercial ownership reports to be filed by noncommercial radio stations in Alabama, Connecticut, Georgia, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont, and noncommercial television … Continue Reading

FCC Asks for Comments on FM Digital Operations With Differing Power Levels on Each Sideband – To Allow Stations to Increase Power and Protect Adjacent Channel Stations From Interference

Posted in Digital Radio
The FCC adopted rules for the digital operation of FM radio stations (known as HD Radio or the Ibiquity In Band On Channel system – IBOC for short) in 2007 and allowed the Media Bureau to amend those rules as technical developments warranted.  In 2010, the Bureau authorized an increase in the power level of the digital portion of … Continue Reading

FM Analog Translator Can Rebroadcast FM Digital Multicast Programming – Opportunities for New Signals in Local Markets

Posted in AM Radio, Digital Radio, FM Radio, FM Translators and LPFM
In a recent decision, the FCC made clear that analog FM translators can rebroadcast the signal of a HD digital multicast channel from a commonly owned FM station.  For months, broadcasters have been introducing "new" FM stations to their communities via translators rebroadcasting HD-2 signals which are broadcast digitally on a primary FM station, and available only to … Continue Reading

Power Boost for Digital FM Radio Stations Effective May 10th

Posted in Digital Radio, FM Radio
The FCC’s January 2010 Order authorizing FM radio stations to increase power on their hybrid digital radio operations was published in the Federal Register on Thursday establishing the effective date of the new rules as May 10th.  As we wrote earlier, the Commission’s Order allows stations to increase from the current maximum permissible level of one percent of authorized … Continue Reading

FCC Gives Digital FM Radio a Power Boost

Posted in Digital Radio, FM Radio
This afternoon the Commission released an Order authorizing FM radio stations to increase power on their hybrid digital radio operations. This power increase is a welcome boost to HD radio operations and was eagerly awaited by many FM stations broadcasting in digital.  In a nutshell, the rule change allows stations to increase from the current maximum permissible … Continue Reading

Looking Into the Crystal Ball – What Can Broadcasters Expect from Washington in 2010?

Posted in Broadcast Performance Royalty, Digital Radio, Digital Television, Fairness Doctrine, FM Translators and LPFM, General FCC, Indecency, Intellectual Property, Low Power Television/Class A TV, Multiple Ownership Rules, Payola and Sponsorship Identification, Political Broadcasting, Programming Regulations, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Television
Another year is upon us, and it’s time for predictions as to what Washington may have in store for broadcasters in 2010.  Each year, when we look at what might be coming, we are amazed at the number of issues that could affect the industry – often issues that are the same year to year … Continue Reading

Court Upholds Copyright Royalty Board Decision on Satellite Radio Royalties, But Questions Board’s Constitutionality

Posted in Digital Radio, Intellectual Property, Internet Radio
The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit today issued a decision basically upholding the royalty rates set by the Copyright Royalty Board due under Section 114 of the Copyright Act by satellite radio operators for the public performance of sound recordings.  The CRB decision, setting royalties for the years of 2007 to 2012, established … Continue Reading

NPR to Conduct Study of Interference Issues from Increased HD Radio Power

Posted in Digital Radio
NPR Labs has announced that it is going to conduct a further study, financed by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, of the potential of interference from a proposed increase in the power of HD Radio operations.  Last year, NPR had raised issues with the proposal by Ibiquity and a number of commercial broadcasters for power increases in the digital … Continue Reading

Caution on Multicast Streams – Remember It’s Still Over-the-Air Broadcasting

Posted in Digital Radio, Digital Television, Television
I just finished speaking on a panel at the Radio Ink Convergence ’09 conference in San Jose.  My panel was called "The Distribution Dilemma: Opportunities, Partnership and Landmines."  As the legal representative, my role was, of course, to talk about the landmines.  And one occurred to me in the middle of the panel when a representative … Continue Reading

Gazing Into the Crystal Ball – The Outlook for Broadcast Regulation in 2009

Posted in Advertising Issues, AM Radio, Broadcast Performance Royalty, Cable Carriage, Digital Radio, Digital Television, EEO Compliance/Diversity, Fairness Doctrine, General FCC, Indecency, Internet Radio, Low Power Television/Class A TV, Multiple Ownership Rules, Payola and Sponsorship Identification, Political Broadcasting, Programming Regulations, Public Interest Obligations/Localism
Come the New Year, we all engage in speculation about what’s ahead in our chosen fields, so it’s time for us to look into our crystal ball to try to discern what Washington may have in store for broadcasters in 2009. With each new year, a new set of regulatory issues face the broadcaster from the … Continue Reading

FCC Begins Inquiry on Mandate for HD Radio on XM Sirius Receivers

Posted in Digital Radio
The FCC recently issued a Notice of Inquiry, asking if it should consider mandating that XM Sirius receivers also be able to receive HD Radio or to play material from other audio sources.  This proceeding was promised as part of the FCC’s approval of the XM-Sirius merger, as a potential way of ensuring that competition in the audio entertainment … Continue Reading

What to Do With TV Channels 5 and 6 – Proposals to Turn Them Over to Radio Services

Posted in Digital Radio, Digital Television, FM Radio, FM Translators and LPFM
The Digital Television conversion has allowed the FCC to reclaim significant portions of the TV spectrum for wireless and public safety uses - television channels above 51 will no longer be used for broadcast TV at the end of the analog to digital transition.  But, as part of the FCC’s Diversity proceeding (see our post here), … Continue Reading

FCC Releases Public Notice of Decision Approving XM-Sirius Merger – Precedent for Broadcast Ownership Not Yet Clear

Posted in Digital Radio, Multiple Ownership Rules
The FCC has released a Public Notice announcing its approval of the XM and Sirius satellite radio merger.  The public notice is only two pages long, with a four page appendix providing very brief summaries of the conditions imposed on the two companies which a majority of the Commissioners found sufficient to protect consumers from … Continue Reading

Push to Complete Multiple Ownership Overhaul By the End of the Year

Posted in Digital Radio, Multiple Ownership Rules, Television
According to an article yesterday in Broadcasting and Cable Online, and another article in the New York Times today, Chairman Martin of the FCC is looking to complete the multiple ownership proceeding (which we summarized here) by the middle of December.  According to the Times article, the Chairman is looking for relaxation of the current newspaper-broadcast cross ownership … Continue Reading

IBOC Digital Radio Rules Become Effective – Some Stations Lead the Way on Multicasting

Posted in AM Radio, Digital Radio, FM Radio
Last Friday, the rules on over-the-air digital radio for AM and FM stations – the IBOC system or, as it is commonly known, HD Radio – became effective.  The most immediate effect of the new rules, which we summarized here, is the ability of AM stations to operate using the IBOC system at night.  The Commission determined that such … Continue Reading

AM Radio Changes Proposed – While Others Languish

Posted in AM Radio, Digital Radio
We’ve recently written much about Internet radio, digital radio, digital television and all sorts of new technologies to electronically deliver media content.  But the grandfather of all electronic media – AM radio - still provides significant service.  A recent Petition for Rulemaking suggests certain technical changes to increase the service provided by these stations. In particular, the proposed changes would … Continue Reading