Broadcast Law Blog

Broadcast Law Blog

Category Archives: Noncommercial Broadcasting

Subscribe to Noncommercial Broadcasting RSS Feed

Typo in Geographic Coordinates Can Sink FCC Radio Application

Posted in AM Radio, Broadcast Auctions, FM Radio, FM Translators and LPFM, Noncommercial Broadcasting
In a case decided last week, the FCC decided to clarify its policies on typos in FCC applications for radio stations.  While one might not think that a typo is such a big idea, in connection with FCC application filing windows, when multiple applicants may be seeking the same frequency or channel in the same … 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

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 Declines to Allow Experimentation with Noncommercial Underwriting Rules

Posted in Advertising Issues, Noncommercial Broadcasting
The FCC yesterday issued an order declining to allow experimentation with the noncommercial underwriting rules that was requested by the licensee of noncommercial radio stations in the Phoenix area.  The licensee had asked the FCC for permission to conduct a three year experiment by relaxing the underwriting rules in certain ways to determine the effect … Continue Reading

Noncommercial Webcasters Royalty Rate Proposals for 2016-2020

Posted in Intellectual Property, Internet Radio, Music Rights, Noncommercial Broadcasting
Noncommercial webcasters are often forgotten in the discussion of the current proceeding to set Internet radio sound recording royalties. But, along with the royalties for commercial webcasters (we wrote about the proposed commercial rates here), the current Copyright Royalty Board proceeding will also set the rates for noncommercial webcasters.  Various proposals for noncommercial royalties have … Continue Reading

More LPFM Applications for Broadcasters to Review to Assess Potential Interference Issues, and New Petition to Deny Deadlines

Posted in AM Radio, FM Radio, FM Translators and LPFM, Noncommercial Broadcasting
We wrote last week about the FCC’s determination of which applicants are to be preferred in several groups of mutually exclusive applications for new Low Power FM stations.  We warned full-power FM broadcasters to review the preferred applicants as broadcasters have 30 days from last week’s public notice to file petitions to deny against such … Continue Reading

Copyright Royalty Board Starts Rulemaking to Change Recordkeeping Requirements for Commercial and Noncommercial Webcasters

Posted in Intellectual Property, Internet Radio, Music Rights, Noncommercial Broadcasting
On Friday, the Copyright Royalty Board published in the Federal Register a proposal for changes in its recordkeeping rules – suggesting more detailed requirements for larger webcasters who are required to report the songs that they play on a “census” basis – that would be most webcasters who are required to report the songs that … Continue Reading

January Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters and Webcasters – Children’s Television Reports, Quarterly Issues Programs List, Webcaster Elections and Minimum Fees, the Return of Lowest Unit Rates and More!

Posted in AM Radio, Children's Programming and Advertising, General FCC, Internet Radio, Internet Video, Music Rights, Noncommercial Broadcasting, On Line Media, Political Broadcasting, Programming Regulations, Public Interest Obligations/Localism
A new month in a new year, and a number of new regulatory dates are upon us for broadcasters – and important dates for webcasters also fall in this month.  So now that the holidays are quickly becoming just a foggy memory, it is time to sharply focus on those regulatory obligations that you have … Continue Reading

What’s Up in Washington For Broadcasters in 2014? — Part 1, FCC Issues

Posted in AM Radio, Cable Carriage, Digital Television, FM Radio, FM Translators and LPFM, General FCC, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, 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

Court of Appeals Upholds Communications Act Ban on Commercial and Political Advertising on Public TV Stations – Significant Analysis of the Standards for First Amendment Review of all Broadcast Regulation

Posted in Advertising Issues, Noncommercial Broadcasting, Political Broadcasting
Section 399b of the Communications Act bans advertising for for-profit companies, as well as political and issue advertising, on noncommercial radio and television stations.  While Congress over 20 years ago loosened some restrictions on fundraising by allowing paid ads by nonprofit groups on noncommercial stations, and permitting commercial entities to provide some minimal information about … 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

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 Announces Biennial Ownership Report Filing Window is Open – Reports to be filed by December 2 By All Commercial Broadcasters

Posted in EEO Compliance/Diversity, General FCC, Noncommercial Broadcasting
Every two years, broadcasters are to file Biennial Ownership Reports on Form 323 to detail the ownership of the companies that hold FCC licenses. Since 2009, all commercial broadcasters across the country are to file such reports in the same window of time. Theoretically, these reports are supposed to be filed between October 1 and November 1 … Continue Reading

Filing Deadline for FCC Form 323 Biennial Ownership Reports Extended Until December 2 – Why the Delay?

Posted in EEO Compliance/Diversity, General FCC, Noncommercial Broadcasting
The FCC has just announced that the Form 323 Biennial Ownership Reports for commercial broadcasters, due to be filed on or before November 1 of this year, will now be due instead by December 2. This is the third straight time that the obligation to file these reports has been extended, due to the complexity and … Continue Reading

August FCC Regulatory Deadlines for Broadcasters – Including Renewals; EEO; Comments on Indecency, the Online Public File and Cross-Ownership

Posted in EEO Compliance/Diversity, FCC Fees, FM Translators and LPFM, General FCC, Indecency, License Renewal, Multiple Ownership Rules, Noncommercial Broadcasting, Political Broadcasting, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Website Issues
Another month is upon us, along with all of the FCC regulatory obligations that accompany it. August brings a host of license renewal obligations, along with EEO public file obligations in a number of states, as well as noncommercial Biennial Ownership Report filings in several states. We also expect that the FCC will notify stations of the … Continue Reading

June FCC Obligations for Broadcasters – Renewals, EEO, FM Translator and Auction Filings, and Comments on Regulatory Fees, Indecency, and Incentive Auction Band Plan

Posted in Broadcast Auctions, FCC Fees, FM Radio, FM Translators and LPFM, General FCC, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, Indecency, License Renewal, Noncommercial Broadcasting, Television
As is the case with most months, June brings a number of FCC deadlines for broadcasters, both standard regulatory filings and comment deadlines in important regulatory proceedings. The regular filing deadlines include license renewal applications due on June 3 (as June 1 is a Saturday) for Commercial and Noncommercial Full-Power and Class A Television Stations, TV … Continue Reading

FCC Adopts More Lenient Standards on Certain Fines to Student Run Noncommercial Broadcast Stations

Posted in FCC Fines, Noncommercial Broadcasting
Fines against noncommercial stations may that are primarily student run may not be as harsh as they have been in the past under a ruling issued by the FCC’s Media Bureau earlier this week. The new policy came about as part of a consent decree entered into by an Iowa college-owned broadcaster whose student-run station had … Continue Reading

$3000 Fine Against Noncommercial Station for Underwriting Violations – With Discussion of PSAs as Public Interest Programming and Cigarette Ads in Classic Radio Program

Posted in Noncommercial Broadcasting, Public Interest Obligations/Localism
In a decision granting the license renewal of a noncommercial radio station, the FCC’s Media Bureau addressed a number of interesting issues – including the requirements for noncommercial underwriting announcements, whether PSAs meet a station’s public service obligations, and the ability of stations to run cigarette ads in historical radio programs from early radio days. These issues all came up … Continue Reading

FCC Processing of Translator Applications from 2003 Moves Ahead – Window for Opting Out of Noncommercial Status to Participate in the Auction

Posted in Appearances, FM Translators and LPFM, Low Power Television/Class A TV, Noncommercial Broadcasting
Another radio topic sure to be discussed at the NAB convention this week is the ongoing story of the thousands of FM applications translators still pending at the FCC from the 2003 FM translator window. While this has been a topic at many of the NAB Conventions in the last 10 years, it looks like the end is … Continue Reading

Noncommercial Radio Operator Fined $10,000 for Not Providing Immediate Access to Public File – FCC Provides A Good Primer on the Public File Rules for All Radio Broadcasters

Posted in FCC Fines, Noncommercial Broadcasting
The FCC proposed that a noncommercial broadcaster be fined $10,000 for its failure to allow a visitor unquestioned and immediate access to the public inspection files for 6 noncommercial radio stations operated from the same main studio. Though the delay in allowing access was only a few hours long, that delay, together with questions asked of the person … Continue Reading

April FCC Obligations for Broadcasters – Renewals, EEO, Quarterly Issues Programs Lists, Captioning of Live or Near-Live Online Programming, FM Translator Filings, an FM Auction and Comments on Alien Ownership

Posted in Broadcast Auctions, EEO Compliance/Diversity, FM Translators and LPFM, General FCC, Internet Video, License Renewal, Noncommercial Broadcasting, On Line Media, Programming Regulations, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Television, Website Issues
April is one of those months in which many FCC obligations are triggered for broadcasters. There are the normal obligations, like the Quarterly Issues Programs lists, that need to be in the public file of all broadcast stations, radio and TV, commercial and noncommercial, by April 10. Quarterly Children’s television reports are due to be submitted … Continue Reading

More Patent Issues for Media Companies – Mission Abstract Data Patent Asserted in Law Suits Against 4 Radio Broadcasters, and a New Patent Claim Raised Against Podcasters, Including Public Broadcasters

Posted in Intellectual Property, Noncommercial Broadcasting, On Line Media, Website Issues
In the digital world, it seems that everything is reinvented, and someone claims that they have a patent on that reinvention. In the last few weeks, we have seen news about patent claims asserted against radio broadcasters for their digital music storage systems, against public broadcasters for podcasts, and even against companies trying to comply with … Continue Reading

FCC Seeks Comments on Biennial Ownership Report – Seeking Social Security Numbers From All Attributable Owners – and Some Who Are Not

Posted in EEO Compliance/Diversity, General FCC, Multiple Ownership Rules, Noncommercial Broadcasting
The FCC this week released a Public Notice announcing comment deadlines on rulemaking proposals relating to the FCC Biennial Ownership Reports. The first set of proposals deals with a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking issued earlier this month, proposing a series of changes to the process for filing these reports. The proposals include a requirement that the all persons with attributable interests … Continue Reading