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Category Archives: Programming Regulations

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July Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – New Captioning Obligations, Online Political File for Small TV Stations, Issues Programs List and Children’s Television Reports, and More

Posted in Children's Programming and Advertising, FCC Fees, General FCC, Internet Radio, Internet Video, License Renewal, Low Power Television/Class A TV, Multiple Ownership Rules, On Line Media, Political Broadcasting, Programming Regulations, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Television
July brings a number of new regulatory dates for broadcasters – including the effective dates of two new compliance obligations for small market TV stations, as well as numerous routine regulatory filing dates.  July 10 brings one deadline for all broadcast stations – it is the date by which your Quarterly Issues Programs lists, setting … Continue Reading

Comment Dates Set on FCC’s Proposed Elimination of the Network Nonduplication and Syndicated Exclusivity Rules – Comments to be Filed by May 12

Posted in Cable Carriage, Programming Regulations, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Television
The FCC is now taking comments on the proposal to do away with the syndicated exclusivity and network nonduplication protection rules.  The Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, about which we wrote here, was published in the Federal Register today, giving interested parties until May 12 to file their initial comments, and until June 9 to … Continue Reading

$44,000 Fine for 11 Missing Sponsorship IDs for Radio Station 45 Second Spots – Emphasizes Importance of Strict Compliance with All FCC Programming Rules

Posted in FCC Fines, Payola and Sponsorship Identification, Programming Regulations
In a decision released this week, the FCC fined a Chicago radio station $44,000 for omitting sponsorship identification announcements on 11 on-air spots promoting the positions of the sponsoring organization on certain issues facing the local community.  Finding that the purpose of the sponsorship identification rules (Section 317 of the Communications Act and Section 73.1212 … Continue Reading

Ten Years After Janet Jackson’s Super Bowl Clothing Malfunction, FCC Indecency Rules Remain in Limbo

Posted in Assignments and Transfers, FCC Fines, Indecency, License Renewal, Programming Regulations
Last night’s Super Bowl didn’t offer much in the way of excitement on the field, as the game was seemingly over by the end of the first half.  But, for the last decade, the half-time show itself may offer some anxiety to the stations carrying the game.  10 years ago, Janet Jackson had her infamous … 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, 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

Odds and Ends: Extension of Biennial Ownership Report Deadline, $110,000 Penalty for Indecency, Deadline for UHF Discount Comments, and Closing of the LPFM Window

Posted in EEO Compliance/Diversity, FCC Fines, FM Translators and LPFM, General FCC, Indecency, Multiple Ownership Rules, Programming Regulations, Television
Last week brought a number of Washington developments that we’ll write about in more detail soon, including the FCC’s decision to relax the limitations on foreign ownership of broadcast stations.  But there were also a number of other actions that bear mention – including the decision released late Friday to extend the deadline for the … 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

Orson Welles’ War of the Worlds 75 Years Later – What Would the FCC Do Now?

Posted in General FCC, Programming Regulations, Public Interest Obligations/Localism
This is the 75th anniversary of the Mercury Players broadcast of the Orson Welles production of the War of the Worlds – a radio broadcast that seemingly scared many Americans into thinking that the country was under attack by Martians, that my home state of New Jersey had been overrun, and that the rest of the … Continue Reading

July FCC Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – Including Quarterly Issues Programs Lists, Children’s Television Reports, Indecency and Ownership Comment Deadlines

Posted in Children's Programming and Advertising, General FCC, Indecency, Multiple Ownership Rules, Programming Regulations, Public Interest Obligations/Localism
July has many FCC obligations for broadcasters, both regularly scheduled and unique to 2013. 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 July 10. Quarterly Children’s television reports are also due to be submitted … Continue Reading

FCC Seeks Comments on Online Political File for TV Stations – Should Obligations Be Changed or Expanded?

Posted in General FCC, On Line Media, Political Broadcasting, Programming Regulations, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Website Issues
It has been almost a year since the FCC adopted rules for an online public inspection file for television stations. This week, the Commission released a Public Notice requesting comments on how the rules are performing – specifically focusing on the online political file. While the Commission’s rules currently require only that the affiliates of the top four … 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

FCC Grants Certain TV Stations Limited Waiver from Online Public File Obligations for Documents from Prior Renewal Terms

Posted in Advertising Issues, License Renewal, On Line Media, Programming Regulations, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Television
Earlier today, we wrote about the FCC’s reminder that TV broadcasters must, by February 4, complete the upload to their FCC-mandated online public inspection file all materials from the current renewal term that were created prior to the August 2 effective date of the online public inspection file requirement.  We noted that the FCC had not addressed the … Continue Reading

FCC Issues Reminder that TV Stations Need to Complete Online Public File By February 4 – Upload Documents Including All Quarterly Issues Programs Lists and EEO Public File Reports Since the Last License Renewal Grant

Posted in EEO Compliance/Diversity, License Renewal, On Line Media, Political Broadcasting, Programming Regulations, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Television
The six months that the FCC gave to television stations to upload the contents of their paper public files to their new online public file seemed like a long time back in August, when the deadline was announced and the online public file rule became effective. But that deadline is upon us, and the FCC yesterday … Continue Reading

Gazing Into the Crystal Ball – What Washington Has In Store For Broadcasters in 2013

Posted in Broadband Report, Broadcast Performance Royalty, Cable Carriage, EEO Compliance/Diversity, FM Radio, FM Translators and LPFM, General FCC, Indecency, Internet Radio, Low Power Television/Class A TV, Multiple Ownership Rules, Music Rights, On Line Media, Political Broadcasting, Privacy, Programming Regulations, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Television
Every year, about this time, I dust off the crystal ball to offer a look at the year ahead to see what Washington has in store for broadcasters. This year, like many in the recent past, Washington will consider important issues for both radio and TV, as well as issues affecting the growing on-line presence of … Continue Reading

On the Schedule for the April 27 FCC Meeting: Television Public Interest Obligations, TV Channel Sharing and Third-Party Fundraising by Noncommercial Broadcasters

Posted in Broadband Report, Digital Television, Noncommercial Broadcasting, Programming Regulations, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Television
Three broadcast items are tentatively scheduled for the next FCC meeting, to be held on April 27, according to the tentative agenda released today.  In one expected action, though perhaps moving more quickly than many thought possible, the FCC has indicated that it will adopt an Order in its proceeding requiring TV broadcasters to place … Continue Reading

FCC and Public Interest Groups Demand Copies of TV Stations’ Public Inspection Files, As FCC Nears Decision About Requiring That The Complete File Be Posted Online

Posted in General FCC, Political Broadcasting, Programming Regulations, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Television
While rumors are flying that the FCC is rushing to adopt its proposals to require that TV stations put their public inspection files online (see our summary of the proposals here), both the FCC and public interest groups are targeting the public files of television stations – looking to copy some or all of those files.  Rumors … Continue Reading

April Fools Gags on Air? Play It Safe, and Remember the FCC’s Hoax Rule

Posted in FCC Fines, General FCC, Programming Regulations
With April Fool’s Day only a few days away, we need to repeat our annual reminder that broadcasters need to be careful with any on-air pranks, jokes or other jokes prepared especially for the day.  While a little fun is OK, remember that the FCC does have a rule against on-air hoaxes – and, of any day in … Continue Reading

FCC Keeps the Pressure on Class A Television Stations, Issues $52,000 in Fines for Failure to Timely File Children’s Television Reports

Posted in Children's Programming and Advertising, FCC Fines, Low Power Television/Class A TV, Programming Regulations
Yesterday, the FCC issued fines totaling $52,000 against four Class A television stations for belatedly filing their FCC Form 398 Children’s Television Programming Reports. The stations, each of which had missed at least a couple of years’ worth of Children’s Reports, were also fined for failing to timely place the reports in their public inspection … Continue Reading

Numerous Small Television Producers Seek Waiver of FCC Closed Captioning Rules

Posted in Digital Television, Programming Regulations, Television
In the wake of Commission’s rejection of hundreds of closed captioning waivers last year, many small television producers are now seeking new waivers for relief from the Commission’s television closed captioning rules.  Last October, the Commission overturned nearly 300 "economically burdensome" captioning waivers on the grounds that the FCC had failed to apply the correct standard of review and … Continue Reading

Further Details on the New Closed Captioning Rules for IP-Delivered Video Programming

Posted in General FCC, Intellectual Property, Internet Video, On Line Media, Programming Regulations
As we reported last week, the FCC has adopted a Report and Order establishing rules for the closed captioning of video programming delivered via Internet protocol (i.e., IP video), as required by the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA). DWT has now released an advisory with further details about the new rules, which is … Continue Reading

FCC Releases Final Rules on Closed Captioning for IP-Delivered Video Programming

Posted in Digital Television, General FCC, Internet Video, On Line Media, Programming Regulations, Television, Website Issues
This afternoon, the FCC released its long-anticipated Report and Order (R&O) setting forth the Commission’s new closed captioning rules for IP-delivered video programming, pursuant to the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA).  As we explained when the rules were first proposed in September, the CVAA directed the FCC to establish how and when certain … Continue Reading