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Category Archives: Digital Television

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NAB Requests Extension of May Obligation for TV Stations to Convert Emergency Information from Text to Speech

Posted in Digital Television, Emergency Communications, Television
The FCC two years ago adopted a rule requiring that television stations that provide emergency information visually (e.g. through open captions or crawls), outside of news programming, convert that emergency information into audio and run that audio on SAP channels (secondary audio programming channels – usually used for Spanish language translations of English-language programs). That… Continue Reading

FCC Announces New Locations for TV Incentive Auction Seminars and Private Meetings

Posted in Digital Television, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, Television
The FCC continues to take its show on the road, announcing incentive auction seminars for TV broadcasters in several new cities. At these seminars, FCC officials meet with TV broadcasters in a general meeting to outline the mechanics of the proposed incentive auction to reclaim a portion of the TV band to be resold to… Continue Reading

FCC Extends Reply Comment Deadline on Treating Over-the-Top Video as an MVPD

Posted in Cable Carriage, Digital Television, Internet Video, On Line Media, Programming Regulations, Television
The FCC has extended the Reply Comment deadline in its proceeding looking at whether to apply some or all of the regulations applicable to multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs – cable and satellite TV) to over-the-top video providers who provide multiple channels of video programming in a linear fashion (i.e. like a cable system, with the… Continue Reading

FCC Renews Television Station Licenses after Challenges on the Educational Nature of Children’s Programming – With a Warning to Other Broadcasters

Posted in Children's Programming and Advertising, Digital Television, License Renewal, Programming Regulations, Television
In a decision released yesterday, the FCC renewed the licenses of three TV stations held by large broadcast groups, rejecting Petitions to Deny filed by a citizen’s organization arguing that the children’s educational and informational programming run by these stations was not sufficiently educational or informational to meet the requirement that stations run three hours… Continue Reading

More Incentive Auction News – LPTV Webinar Postponed; NAB Study Looks At How Many Stations Per Market Will Need to Surrender Licenses for Successful Auction; More Auction Seminars Scheduled

Posted in Broadcast Auctions, Digital Television, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, Low Power Television/Class A TV, Television
As we accelerate toward next year’s planned TV incentive auction, it seems like there is news almost every day of interest to television broadcasters who may be affected by the FCC’s efforts to clear TV spectrum so that it can be repurposed for wireless broadband use and sold to wireless companies and the subsequent repacking… Continue Reading

FCC Continues Meetings to Explain TV Incentive Auction – California Meetings in Early March

Posted in Broadcast Auctions, Digital Television, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, Television
With the recent release of the FCC’s report setting out the potential opening bids to buy out the spectrum of TV stations so that it can be resold to wireless companies for wireless broadband, station owners and operators around the country have many questions about how the auction will play out, and what they really… Continue Reading

FCC Extends Comment Dates in Proceeding Looking to Regulate Online Video Under MVPD Rules

Posted in Cable Carriage, Digital Television, Intellectual Property, Internet Video, On Line Media, Television
The FCC yesterday released a public notice extending the comment dates in their proceeding to regulate Online (or “over-the-top”) Video, particularly Internet video providers who provide multiple channels of linear video programming (programming streamed at the same time to all viewers, as opposed to on-demand video like that provided by Netflix or Amazon), in the… Continue Reading

FCC Releases Tentative Amounts for Opening Offers to TV Stations to Surrender their Spectrum in the Incentive Auction – and the Numbers Are High

Posted in Broadcast Auctions, Digital Television, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, Low Power Television/Class A TV, Television
On Friday, the FCC released a new report by the investment bankers advising them on the incentive auction, Greenhill and Company.  This report summarizes proposed auction procedures, but also sets out, on a market-by-market basis, the expected opening bids to be offered to TV broadcasters for the surrender of their spectrum so that the spectrum… Continue Reading

More Incentive Auction Dates – Comments Extended on Auction Procedures, Deadlines for Digital Buildouts

Posted in Digital Television, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, Low Power Television/Class A TV, Television
The incentive auction to repurpose part of the TV band for wireless broadband marches on, and activity takes place on an almost daily basis.  Last week, in providing the February Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters, we mentioned the dates for comments on the auction procedures, asking questions about the mechanics of the auction and how the… Continue Reading

What Washington Has in Store for Broadcasters and Digital Media Companies in 2015 – Part 2 – Court Cases, Congressional Communications and Copyright Reform, and Other Issues

Posted in Broadcast Performance Royalty, Digital Radio, Digital Television, General FCC, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, Intellectual Property, Internet Radio, Multiple Ownership Rules, Music Rights, On Line Media, Television
Last month, we wrote about the FCC issues facing broadcasters in 2015.  Today, we’ll look at decisions that may come in other venues that could affect broadcasters and media companies in the remaining 11 months of 2015.  There are many actions in courts, at government agencies and in Congress that could change law or policy… Continue Reading

February Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – TV Renewals, EEO Reports, Lots of TV Incentive Auction Activity, OTT MVPD and Contest Comments, and Last-Minute January Deadlines for Webcasting

Posted in Broadcast Auctions, Cable Carriage, Digital Television, EEO Compliance/Diversity, FCC Fines, General FCC, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, Internet Radio, Internet Video, License Renewal, Low Power Television/Class A TV, Noncommercial Broadcasting, On Line Media, Television
As in any month, February has many impending deadlines for broadcasters and media companies – many routine regulatory obligations as well as some that are specific to certain proceedings.  First, let’s look at some of the routine filing deadlines.  On February 2, license renewal applications in the second-to-last filing window of this renewal cycle are… Continue Reading

What Washington Has in Store for Broadcasters in 2015 – Part 1, What’s Up at the FCC

Posted in Advertising Issues, AM Radio, Broadcast Auctions, Cable Carriage, Digital Television, EEO Compliance/Diversity, FM Radio, FM Translators and LPFM, General FCC, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, Indecency, Low Power Television/Class A TV, Multiple Ownership Rules, Noncommercial Broadcasting, Payola and Sponsorship Identification, Political Broadcasting, Programming Regulations, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Television
Each year, at about this time, we pull out the crystal ball and make predictions of the issues affecting broadcasters that will likely bubble up to the top of the FCC’s agenda in the coming year.  While we try each year to throw in a mention of the issues that come to our mind, there… Continue Reading

FCC to Look at Program Producer Responsibility for Captioning of Video Programming – Likely Extension of New Rules on Captioning Quality

Posted in Digital Television, General FCC, Programming Regulations, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Television
The FCC this week issued a Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, suggesting that certain responsibilities for the captioning of video programming be reassigned from the Video Programming Distributor (the TV station or cable system) who has the direct contact with the viewer, to the producer of the programming as that is where the captioning… Continue Reading

Putting Details to the Incentive Auction – FCC Asks for Comments on Fact Sheet on Auction Structure, and Prepares for Meetings with Broadcasters

Posted in Broadcast Auctions, Digital Television, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, Television
The FCC adopted proposed auction procedures for its incentive auction at its meeting on Friday, and thus far has released a Fact Sheet on these procedures by which it plans to buy back spectrum from broadcasters and resell it to wireless companies for wireless broadband uses.  The tentative procedures, along with the recent “Greenhill Report” setting possible… Continue Reading

FCC Denies Closed Captioning Waiver for Church Service – Clarifying New Standards on “Economically Burdensome” Exceptions to Captioning Requirements

Posted in Digital Television, Noncommercial Broadcasting, Programming Regulations, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Television
We are often asked by television broadcasters if specialty programming – particularly local programming, like a local church’s broadcast of its Sunday morning church service – is covered by the FCC’s closed captioning obligations.  In a decision released on Friday, the FCC staff denied the request of a church for an exemption from the rules… Continue Reading

Congress Passes STELAR – Renewing Authorization of Satellite Carriers Carriage of TV Stations – With Some Important Changes to JSA, Retransmission Consent and Market Modification Rules

Posted in Cable Carriage, Digital Television, Intellectual Property, Low Power Television/Class A TV, Multiple Ownership Rules, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Television, Uncategorized
Last week, the Senate approved a reauthorization of STELA, the new bill called STELAR (the “STELA Reauthorization Act of 2014”), adopting the version that had been approved by the House of Representatives earlier in the month.  In addition to simply giving satellite television companies (essentially DISH and DirecTV) the a five-year extension of their rights… Continue Reading

December Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – Renewals, EEO Reports and Noncommercial Biennial Ownership Reports in Some States; TV Ancillary and Supplementary Revenue Reports; As Well as LPTV Rulemaking Comments and Many Other Expected Actions

Posted in Cable Carriage, Digital Television, FCC Fines, General FCC, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, Internet Video, License Renewal, Low Power Television/Class A TV, Noncommercial Broadcasting, On Line Media, Programming Regulations, Public Interest Obligations/Localism
While we are in the Holiday season, the regulatory obligations faced by broadcasters don’t stop.  December brings a continuation of the TV renewal cycle, though we are nearing the end of that cycle.  Renewal applications for all TV, Class A and LPTV stations in the following states are due on December 1: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts,… Continue Reading

FCC Policy by Blog Post – Over-the-Top Internet-Delivered Television Programming Providers May be Treated as MVPDs, a Reaction to Aereo?

Posted in Cable Carriage, Digital Television, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, Intellectual Property, Internet Video, On Line Media, Programming Regulations, Television
The FCC announced two significant policy initiatives by Blog post in the last week – perhaps recognizing that the Internet provides a better way of packaging a message about policy directions than an unpredictable news conference.  The two decisions announced this week by Blog post were (1) the Chairman announcing that he has directed that… Continue Reading

FCC Extends the Deadline for Comments on the Draft Form for TV Stations to Seek Reimbursement of Their Repacking Expenses After the Incentive Auction

Posted in Digital Television, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, Television
The FCC has extended the comment deadline for ideas about the draft form that the FCC plans to use to determine the amount of reimbursement to be paid to individual TV broadcasters for changes in channels caused by the television spectrum repacking after the incentive auction (by which portions of the TV spectrum will be purchased from… Continue Reading

FCC Proposals for Preserving LPTV and TV Translator Service after the Incentive Auction, Plus Proposals for Preservation of the Franken FM and an End to Analog Tuner Requirements

Posted in Digital Television, FM Radio, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, Low Power Television/Class A TV, Television
Late last week, the FCC advanced a number of proposals on how it will deal with LPTV stations and TV translators after the incentive auction and the repacking of the TV spectrum into whatever channels are left after part of the TV band is repurposed for wireless uses.  The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking raises a… Continue Reading

Will FCC Extend MVPD Rules to Online Video Providers – Including Retransmission Consent Fees and Program Access Rules?

Posted in Cable Carriage, Digital Television, Internet Video, On Line Media, Television
Could a change in the FCC treatment of Internet delivered video services be in the works – and how would that affect services like Aereo?  There were a number of published articles last week that suggested that the FCC was considering extending the definition of a Multichannel video programming distributor (MVPD) to over-the-top video providers… Continue Reading

October Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – Quarterly Issues Programs Lists and Children’s Television Reports, New Form for TV CP Applications, Comments on Captioning of Video Clips and Incentive Auction Reimbursement Form and More!

Posted in Children's Programming and Advertising, Digital Television, EEO Compliance/Diversity, General FCC, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, Internet Video, License Renewal, On Line Media, Programming Regulations, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Television
With regulatory fees behind us, October brings a number of the routine quarterly regulatory filing dates.  October 10 for all broadcast stations, commercial and noncommercial, is the date by which your Quarterly Issues Programs lists, setting out the most important issues that faced your community in the last quarter and the programs that you broadcast… Continue Reading

TV Incentive Auction Moves Forward – FCC Estimates the Value of TV Stations and Clarifies the Interference Standard for Stations Who Remain After the Auction

Posted in Digital Television, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, Television
There are more and more signs that the FCC is moving forward aggressively with its “incentive auction” to purchase TV stations so that their licenses can be cancelled and their spectrum sold to and reused by wireless companies for wireless broadband purposes.  In two significant actions this week, the FCC gave broadcasters a first peek… Continue Reading