Broadcast Law Blog

Broadcast Law Blog

Category Archives: Digital Television

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FCC Asks for Comments on Extending Construction Permits for New Digital LPTV and TV Translator Stations Until September 2015 Digital Conversion Deadline

Posted in Digital Television, Low Power Television/Class A TV, Television
The FCC’s Media Bureau yesterday released a Public Notice asking for comment on a proposal to extend the construction deadline until September 1, 2015 for any construction permit for a digital LPTV station or a TV translator that will expire before that date.  September 1, 2015 is the deadline for all TV translators and LPTV … Continue Reading

FCC Adopts New Obligations to Caption Online Video Clips of TV Programs

Posted in Digital Television, Internet Video, On Line Media, Television, Uncategorized, Website Issues
The FCC on Friday voted to extend its rule about captioning TV video repurposed to the Internet so as to cover not only full television programs, but also clips of those programs.  While the rules already require that TV programming that is captioned when broadcast to be captioned when retransmitted in full over the Internet, the … Continue Reading

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 Orders Freeze on LPTV and TV Translator Displacement Applications, While Slightly Easing Freeze on Applications by Full Power TV Stations

Posted in Broadband Report, Digital Television, Low Power Television/Class A TV, Television
The FCC has just imposed a freeze on the filing of displacement applications for LPTV and TV translator stations, as well as displacement applications for Class A TV stations.  A displacement application is one that is filed to preserve a secondary station’s operations when a full-power station makes changes in its technical facilities that would … Continue Reading

Odds and Ends – CALM Act Revisions, New Effective Date for Higher FCC Application Fees, and a Case Exploring the Reach of the FCC Character Policies

Posted in Digital Television, FCC Fees, General FCC, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Television
In the last few weeks, while I was on vacation and otherwise occupied, there have been many big developments in the broadcasting and music industries that I’ll try to write about separately – including the release of the FCC’s Order setting up the first official outline of the television incentive auction process and the Department … 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

FCC Gives a Peek at Some Details for the Incentive Auction – What’s Up for TV Stations?

Posted in Broadband Report, Broadcast Auctions, Digital Television, Low Power Television/Class A TV, Television
The incentive auction by which the FCC will try to get some television stations to surrender their spectrum so that it can be sold to wireless broadband users is moving forward.  A vote on the general rules to implement the auction and to repack the television band are expected to be held at the Commission’s … Continue Reading

Utah Court Enjoins Aereo Service – A Preview of the Supreme Court Decision? Could It Find Aereo to Violate Copyright Law Without Overturning the Cablevision Decision?

Posted in Digital Television, Intellectual Property, Internet Video, On Line Media, Television
Aereo finally lost a court decision.  The US District Court in Utah released a well-reasoned decision finding that the service, by transmitting via the Internet over-the-air TV programming to subscribers without any consent from the TV stations or their program suppliers, violated the copyrights that the stations have in their programming.  Specifically, the Court found … 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

Mandatory Captioning of IP Delivered Clips of TV Programs? The FCC Seeks Information About Extending Internet Video Captioning Obligations

Posted in Digital Television, Internet Video, On Line Media, Programming Regulations, Television, Website Issues
Closed captioning of video programming repurposed to the Internet has been an obligation of television stations for over a year.  Thus far, most stations have been able to comply with the requirements – as those requirements have only applied to full programs that were captioned when broadcast over the air, and then carried over to … Continue Reading

December Regulatory Deadlines For Broadcasters – Renewals, Ownership Reports, CALM Act, and TV Form 317

Posted in Digital Television, General FCC, License Renewal, Noncommercial Broadcasting, Programming Regulations, Television
While we were sidetracked by the government shutdown in posting reminders about regulatory deadlines for broadcasters during the last two months, it’s about time to put that behind us, and to resume our monthly practice. While everyone may be looking forward to the holidays, they need to remember that December does bring a number of regulatory obligations for broadcasters … Continue Reading

Tom Wheeler Confirmed As FCC Chair – What Broadcast Issues Will the New FCC be Addressing?

Posted in Broadband Report, Broadcast Auctions, Digital Television, General FCC, Indecency, Programming Regulations, Uncategorized
At long last, it appears that we will soon have a complete FCC, as the Senate has approved the nomination of Tom Wheeler to be the next FCC Chairman, and Michael O’Rielly for the other vacancy on the FCC.  The nomination of Mr. Wheeler had been held up by Senator Ted Cruz on grounds that he … 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

No Relief on LPTV/TV Translator Digital Conversion Deadline – 2015 Deadline for End of Analog Operations Upheld on Reconsideration

Posted in Digital Television, Low Power Television/Class A TV, Noncommercial Broadcasting, Television
The FCC denied reconsideration on the last phase of the digital television transition – requiring that all LPTV stations and TV translators cease analog operations and be operating digitally by September 1, 2015. See our summary of the original ruling on the digital conversion of LPTV and TV translator stations here. In denying reconsideration, the FCC determined … Continue Reading

FCC Starts Proceeding to Consider Abolishing the UHF Discount – Effectively Lowering TV Ownership Limits?

Posted in Digital Television, Multiple Ownership Rules, Television
The FCC yesterday proposed abolishing the UHF discount – which counts the audience reached by a UHF station as only one-half when computing whether the owner is approaching the 39% cap on nationwide audience that can be reached by one owner. While many FCC rulemaking proposals are very subtle, with many nuances that are important in … Continue Reading

FCC Seeks Comments on Reimbursable Costs of TV Stations Changing Channels as Part of Repacking of TV Spectrum for Incentive Auctions, and Announces Panels to Discuss the Process

Posted in Broadband Report, Broadcast Auctions, Digital Television, Television
We have not written as much as we should have about the current FCC proceeding looking to reclaim parts of the television spectrum in order to repurpose it for auction to wireless users. The process by which the FCC will pay some broadcasters to give up their spectrum (the "incentive auction"), and get the money to … Continue Reading

DC Court Issues Injunction Against FilmOn X for Its Aereo-Like TV-Streaming Service – Increasing Legal Confusion Over TV Public Performance Rights

Posted in Digital Television, Intellectual Property, Internet Video, On Line Media, Television
The US District Court in Washington DC issued a decision earlier this month, enjoining the operation of the television streaming service FilmOn X throughout the United States – except within the Second Circuit (covering NY) where the US Court of Appeals reached a contrary decision in connection with Aereo – a very similar service. Both of these … 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

FCC Imposes Freeze on Television Station Technical Improvements – Preparing for Repacking the TV Spectrum to Allow for Spectrum Auctions

Posted in Broadband Report, Digital Television, Television
With broadcasters making their way to the NAB Convention in Las Vegas, the FCC on Friday provided one topic for conversation among TV broadcasters – issuing a Public Notice imposing a freeze – effective immediately – on the filing of any technical application by any licensee or permittee of a full power TV station or a … Continue Reading

February Legal Deadlines for Broadcasters – Online Public File, Review of Incentive Auction Comments, Filing Deadline for FM Auction, and Lots of Renewals and EEO Public File Reports

Posted in Broadband Report, Broadcast Auctions, Digital Television, EEO Compliance/Diversity, General FCC, License Renewal, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Television
February is almost upon us, and it brings a host of regulatory obligations for broadcasters – as well as the filing deadline for those interested in pursuing new FM channels in an upcoming auction, and a number of opportunities to comment on important FCC proceedings. The week before last, TV NewsCheck published our latest quarterly … Continue Reading

Compliance Deadline for CALM Act December 13 – FCC Allows Waiver Filings Until that Deadline

Posted in Advertising Issues, Digital Television, Television
The CALM Act, meant to end the dreaded "loud commercial," is set to go into effect tomorrow, December 13. We summarized the requirements for compliance with the Act here. Basically, TV stations must adopt certain practices set out in a series of standards known as A/85 Recommended Practice, adopted by the ATSC (the Advanced Television Standards Committee). As … Continue Reading