Broadcast Law Blog

Broadcast Law Blog

Category Archives: Digital Television

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Legal Issues for Broadcasters – Updates on Pending Matters

Posted in AM Radio, Appearances, Cable Carriage, Digital Television, EEO Compliance/Diversity, Emergency Communications, FM Radio, FM Translators and LPFM, General FCC, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, Low Power Television/Class A TV, Multiple Ownership Rules, Music Rights, Payola and Sponsorship Identification, Political Broadcasting, Programming Regulations, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Television
There are so many legal issues that facing broadcasters that it is sometimes difficult to keep up with them all. This Blog and many other activities that those at my firm engage in are meant to help our clients and other broadcasters keep up to date on all of the many regulatory challenges with which… Continue Reading

Countdown to the Incentive Auction – FCC Announces Details of May 24 Workshop for Reverse Auction Participants, and Reminds Them to Preview the Auction System

Posted in Broadcast Auctions, Digital Television, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, Television
Yesterday, the FCC released a Public Notice setting out the agenda for the May 24 Workshop to explain the process of bidding in the reverse auction. The reverse auction is of course when broadcasters can bid to surrender their current channel to the FCC so that the FCC can repackage the surrendered spectrum and then… Continue Reading

126 MHz Incentive Auction Clearing Target Set – Reverse Auction for TV Stations to Bid to Surrender their Spectrum to Wireless Users to Begin May 31

Posted in Broadcast Auctions, Digital Television, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, Television
This morning, the FCC released a Public Notice, announcing that the spectrum clearing target for the initial stage of the Incentive Auction will be 126 MHz.  That means, that if the Incentive Auction is completed in the initial stage with the 126 MHz spectrum clearing target, TV channels 30-36 and 38-51 will be reallocated for… Continue Reading

May Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – Incentive Auction, Comments on EAS, ATSC 3.0 and Set Top Boxes

Posted in AM Radio, Broadcast Auctions, Cable Carriage, Digital Television, Emergency Communications, FM Translators and LPFM, General FCC, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, Political Broadcasting, Television
May is one of those off months in which there are not the kind of routine filings that pop up in most other months – no EEO Public File Reports, no quarterly issues programs lists or children’s television reports, no Biennial Ownership Reports for noncommercial stations (which will soon disappear anyway when noncommercial stations transition… Continue Reading

FCC Requests Initial Public Comments on ATSC 3.0 Proposal for Next Generation of Over-the-Air TV

Posted in Digital Television, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, Television
The FCC has released a Public Notice, as promised by FCC Chairman Wheeler at last week’s NAB convention, asking for public comment on the proposal filed by the National Association of Broadcasters, the Consumer Technology Association and others requesting that the Commission approve ATSC 3.0, the next transmission system for over-the-air television broadcasting. We wrote… Continue Reading

As Incentive Auction Draws Near, Focus Begins to Shift to TV Spectrum Repacking – and Even FM Broadcasters Take Note of Potential Issues

Posted in Digital Television, FM Radio, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, Television, Tower Issues
At the NAB Convention last week, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler discussed the timing of the incentive auction and how some of the remaining issues may soon be resolved. One subject of talk in a number of NAB sessions, as well as in the trade publications, has been how the repacking of broadcast television spectrum will… Continue Reading

FCC Says Pre-Auction Expenses Can Be Reimbursed to Stations that Have to be Repacked After the Incentive Auction

Posted in Broadcast Auctions, Digital Television, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, Television
Can expenses incurred by a TV station now in making moves to prepare for the post-incentive auction repacking of the TV spectrum be reimbursed if that station in fact is forced to move after the auction?  In a clarification “Declaratory Ruling” released on Monday, the FCC said that they can – in an aim designed… Continue Reading

Petition Asking FCC to Approve Next Generation of Over-the-Air Television, ATSC 3.0 – What is Being Requested?

Posted in Digital Television, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, Television
On the eve of this year’s NAB Show in Las Vegas, the FCC has been asked to approve the next generation of TV transmission – ATSC 3.0.  A broad coalition – broadcasters through the NAB and APTS (the public television association), technology manufacturers (through CTA – the Consumer Technology Association formerly the Consumer Electronics Association),… Continue Reading

FCC Proposes Expansion of Requirements for TV Stations and MVPDs to Provide Audio Description of Video Programming

Posted in Cable Carriage, Digital Television, Emergency Communications, Programming Regulations, Television
Last week was a busy one for the FCC, with decisions or proposals on a number of issues that can affect broadcasters, including changes to the EAS rules and proposals for the expansion of video description – the requirements that TV stations carry a certain amount of programming that is accompanied by audio descriptions to… Continue Reading

Incentive Auction Moves Forward – Two Requests for Stay Denied and SecureID Tokens Distributed to Reverse Auction Participants

Posted in Broadcast Auctions, Digital Television, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, Low Power Television/Class A TV, Television
The only significant legal issues that were potentially standing in the way of the broadcast incentive auction are slowly being removed. So far this week, the US Court of Appeals in Washington, DC has denied two requests for stays of the commencement of the reverse auction, scheduled to begin on March 29 with the submission… Continue Reading

March Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – Including Incentive Auction Commitments, New Webcasting Royalties, and Comments on AM Revitalization and Copyright Safe Harbor for User-Generated Content

Posted in AM Radio, Digital Television, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, Intellectual Property, Internet Radio, Music Rights, On Line Media, Television, Website Issues
March appears to be another busy month on the FCC’s regulatory calendar.  While March is one of those months where there is not the usual assortment of EEO public file reports, quarterly issues programs lists or children’s television reports and noncommercial ownership report obligations (see our Broadcasters’ Regulatory Calendar here for some of these dates),… Continue Reading

FCC Announces Previews for TV Broadcasters of Incentive Auction Initial Commitment Software; Denies Auction Stay Request from LPTV Applicant

Posted in Broadcast Auctions, Digital Television, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, Low Power Television/Class A TV, Television
The FCC yesterday released a Public Notice dealing with the upcoming March 29 commitment deadline for TV broadcasters who filed their applications back in January indicating a possible intent to participate in the incentive auction to surrender their TV channel so that the FCC can use it to repack the TV band to free spectrum… Continue Reading

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