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Category Archives: Digital Television

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Grandfathered JSAs Need Not Be Broken Up For Ten Years Pursuant to Congressional Omnibus Spending Bill

Posted in Digital Television, Multiple Ownership Rules, Television
As one of the many legislative changes that made their way into the Congressional Omnibus Spending Bill set to be voted out of Congress this week and signed by the President to keep the government operating for the next year, there is a provision authorizing TV stations to continue through September 30, 2025 operating with Joint Sales… Continue Reading

DC Court Finds FilmOn X Internet TV Service is Not a Cable System and Cannot Rely on Statutory License to Retransmit Over-the-Air TV Signals

Posted in Cable Carriage, Digital Television, Intellectual Property, Internet Video, Television, Website Issues
The US District Court in Washington DC last week decided that FilmOn X could not rely on the compulsory license of Section 111 of the Copyright Act to retransmit the signal of over-the-air television stations to consumers over the Internet. The compulsory license allows a system to rebroadcast copyrighted material without getting express permission from… Continue Reading

December Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – Ownership and EEO Reports, Retransmission Consent and Foreign Ownership Rulemaking Comments, Incentive Auction and Accessibility Obligations

Posted in Cable Carriage, Digital Television, EEO Compliance/Diversity, Emergency Communications, FCC Fees, General FCC, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, Internet Video, Noncommercial Broadcasting, On Line Media, Programming Regulations, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Television, Website Issues
December is one of those months when all commercial broadcasters have at least one FCC deadline, and there are also many other filing dates of which many broadcasters need to take note.  For all commercial broadcasters, Biennial Ownership Reports are due on December 2.  Hopefully, most broadcasters have already completed this filing obligation, as FCC… Continue Reading

No Holidays for the Incentive Auction – Instructions and a Webinar for Broadcasters Who Plan to Enter the Auction and Disputes Over Repacking and LPTV

Posted in Digital Television, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, Low Power Television/Class A TV, Television
The road to the incentive auction’s anticipated start in March continues to be paved. With broadcasters who are intending to participate in the auction needing to file their initial Form 177 applications expressing that intent by January 12 (see our article here), the FCC has published instructions for completing the FCC Form 177 applications, providing… Continue Reading

FCC Extends Date for Filing of Applications by Broadcasters to Participate in the Incentive Auction, and Revises Opening Bid Amounts

Posted in Digital Television, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, Low Power Television/Class A TV, Television
The FCC today issued a Public Notice extending the deadline for the filing of the initial forms for broadcasters to participate in the incentive auction. We wrote about the form here, and the initial deadline here. The deadline is extended from December 18 to January 12. This also has the affect of extending the date… Continue Reading

Using Drones for TV News – What are the Legal Issues?

Posted in Digital Television, Privacy, Programming Regulations, Television
With the Federal Aviation Administration convening a task force to require the registration of most drones, I thought that it was worth taking another look at the current rules regulating the use of by media companies of what are more officially called unmanned aerial systems (“UAS”) and unmanned aerial vehicles (commonly called “drones”). We offered… Continue Reading

FCC Sets Comment Dates on Proposal to Relax Restrictions on Foreign Ownership in Companies Holding US Broadcast Station Licenses – What Is the FCC Proposing?

Posted in AM Radio, Assignments and Transfers, Digital Television, EEO Compliance/Diversity, FM Radio, Multiple Ownership Rules, Television
In Friday’s Federal Register, the FCC published a summary of the Commission’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking looking to revise its policies regarding the ownership of broadcast stations by non-US citizens setting the date for comments on its proposal of December 21, with Reply Comments being due by January 20.  The FCC two years ago issued… Continue Reading

FCC Reminds TV Broadcasters that Reports on Ancillary and Supplementary Services (and Required Fees) Are Due By December 1

Posted in Digital Television, FCC Fees, Low Power Television/Class A TV, Television
The FCC today issued a Public Notice reminding TV broadcasters (full-power, LPTV, translator and Class A stations, both commercial and noncommercial, if they have digital operations) that they must, by December 1, file a report on the ancillary and supplementary services that they provide and pay a fee of 5% of gross revenues received by the TV… Continue Reading

Closing In on the Incentive Auction – Broadcast Application and Reimbursement Forms Available for Review, Reverse Auction Workshop and TV Interference Calculations

Posted in Broadcast Auctions, Digital Television, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, Television
The last week has been a busy one for the FCC in preparing for the December applications by broadcasters for participation in the TV incentive auction. The incentive auction will, of course, offer TV broadcasters money (in some cases, lots of it, at least initially) to vacate their spectrum so that the television band can… Continue Reading

No FCC Extension on Retransmission Consent Good Faith Negotiation Comments, Short Extension on Replies

Posted in Cable Carriage, Digital Television, Television
Late Friday, the FCC denied the request of several broadcasters to extend the time to comment on the FCC proceeding looking at the requirement of “good faith” in retransmission consent negotiations, though it did extend the time for reply comments by two weeks. The FCC is reviewing the good faith requirement, to determine if it… Continue Reading

November Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – Incentive Auction and Biennial Ownership Report Preparation, Reg Fee Comments, Music Issues, Text to Speech Emergency Information and More

Posted in AM Radio, Broadcast Auctions, Broadcast Performance Royalty, Cable Carriage, Digital Television, EEO Compliance/Diversity, Emergency Communications, FCC Fees, FM Radio, General FCC, Intellectual Property, Internet Radio, Music Rights, Television
November is another of those months with no regular filing obligations – no EEO public file and Mid-Term reports, no noncommercial ownership reports, and no quarterly issues programs lists or children’s television reports. EEO public file reports and noncommercial station ownership reports, being tied to renewal dates, will be back in December. See our Broadcaster’s… Continue Reading

New Accessibility Compliance Deadlines for TV Stations Coming Very Soon

Posted in Digital Television, Emergency Communications, Internet Video, Low Power Television/Class A TV, On Line Media, Programming Regulations, Television, Website Issues
TV stations have in the past few years been hit with many requirements for making their programming – especially emergency information – accessible to all people within their service areas. Two deadlines loom in the very short term that stations need to remember – the requirements for converting text based emergency information aired on their… Continue Reading

Dates Set for Comments on Good Faith Negotiation of Retransmission Consent Agreements – What is the FCC Asking?

Posted in Broadcast Auctions, Cable Carriage, Digital Television, On Line Media, Television
A month ago, the FCC released its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking looking to reassess the requirement that broadcasters and MVPDs (cable and satellite television) engage in “good faith” negotiations over the retransmission consent necessary for the MVPD to rebroadcast the signal of a broadcast television station, triggering numerous questions throughout the industry (and among financial… Continue Reading

October Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – Many Routine Filings for All Broadcasters, Incentive Auction Actions, and More

Posted in AM Radio, Cable Carriage, Children's Programming and Advertising, Digital Television, EEO Compliance/Diversity, FM Radio, FM Translators and LPFM, General FCC, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, License Renewal, Low Power Television/Class A TV, Noncommercial Broadcasting, Programming Regulations, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Television
October is one of those months where the regulatory stars align, when not only do broadcasters in many states have EEO Public File report obligations, but also Quarterly Issues Programs Lists need to be placed in the public files of all commercial and noncommercial stations, and Quarterly Children’s Television Reports need to be filed at… Continue Reading

TV Incentive Auction Timing and Procedures Become Clearer – A Presentation on the Process, and More on Upcoming Important Dates

Posted in Digital Television, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, Television
The Incentive Auction, by which the FCC is to pay TV stations to surrender their spectrum and then resell that spectrum to wireless carriers, is to begin on March 29, 2016 (see our article here which broke that news). At the end of last month, my law partner Jonathan Cohen and I presented a webinar… Continue Reading

FCC Regulatory Fees Due September 24 – Plus FCC Proposes Changes in Future Broadcaster Fee Computations

Posted in AM Radio, Digital Television, FCC Fees, FM Radio, FM Translators and LPFM, General FCC, Low Power Television/Class A TV, Television
The FCC announced yesterday 2015 regulatory fees are due by 11:59 pm (Eastern Daylight Time) on September 24, 2015.  The FCC also announced that the FCC’s automated filing and payment system (Fee Filer) for FY 2015 regulatory fees was open yesterday and will reopen on Tuesday, September 8 (it is closed today through the holiday… Continue Reading

FCC Chairman Details Issues Coming Soon for Broadcasters – Review of Retransmission Consent, Network Nonduplication, AM Improvements, and Contest Rules

Posted in Advertising Issues, AM Radio, Cable Carriage, Digital Radio, Digital Television, FM Radio, Programming Regulations, Television, Website Issues
In an article posted on the FCC’s blog yesterday, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler listed four actions that would soon be coming out of the FCC to address broadcast issues. For TV, these include looking at what constitutes “good faith negotiations” in the retransmission consent context, and whether to do away with the FCC’s network nonduplication… Continue Reading

FCC Sets December 2 Deadline for Filing 2015 Biennial Ownership Reports for Commercial Broadcast Stations

Posted in AM Radio, Digital Television, EEO Compliance/Diversity, FM Radio, General FCC, Low Power Television/Class A TV, Multiple Ownership Rules, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Television
The FCC today released an Order setting December 2 as the date for the filing of FCC Form 323 Ownership Reports by commercial broadcast stations. All commercial broadcasters must submit this report. While the report is technically supposed to be filed by November 1 every other year, that date has routinely been extended as the… Continue Reading

August Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – While Incentive Auction Dominates the News, Other Dates to Watch

Posted in AM Radio, Cable Carriage, Digital Television, EEO Compliance/Diversity, Emergency Communications, FCC Fees, FM Radio, General FCC, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, License Renewal, Noncommercial Broadcasting, Programming Regulations, Public Interest Obligations/Localism
With tomorrow’s FCC meeting to detail dates and procedures for the TV incentive auction dominating the headlines, there are other August regulatory dates that should not be overlooked. While we never can get to all of the relevant dates in our monthly highlight article, here are a few items worth your consideration. For one, we… Continue Reading

Church Programming Not Exempt From Captioning Requirements – FCC Looks to Total Assets of Programmer in Denying Economic Exemptions, and Decides There are No Religious Freedom Constitutional Issues

Posted in Digital Television, Noncommercial Broadcasting, Programming Regulations, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Television
In several recent cases, the FCC has denied exemptions from the requirement that programming carried on TV stations and MVPDs have closed captions to serve the hearing impaired members of the viewing audience. While exemptions from these requirements are allowed if a programmer can demonstrate that the captioning would present an economic hardship, these waivers… Continue Reading