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Category Archives: Television

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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

FCC Regulation of Internet Video? – Dates Set for Comments on Treating Over-the-Top Video Providers like Cable and Satellite TV

Posted in Cable Carriage, Intellectual Property, Internet Video, On Line Media, Programming Regulations, Television, Website Issues
Who says that the Internet is not regulated?  Whether to treat Internet video providers by the same rules that apply to cable and direct broadcast satellite systems is the subject of a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking released by the FCC just before Christmas, notice of which was published in the Federal Register today, setting the … Continue Reading

Remember Children’s Television Compliance Obligations – The FCC Does Not Forget

Posted in Children's Programming and Advertising, FCC Fines, Programming Regulations, Television
With the obligation of television stations to file the quarterly Children’s Television Reports on FCC Form 398 by Monday (as the usual January 10 date is on a weekend) and the simultaneous requirement to place into their online public file documentation of compliance with the commercial limits in Children’s programming, it is worth reminding stations … 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

A Broadcaster’s Regulatory Calendar for 2015, Plus Important Regulatory Deadlines for January Including Incentive Auction and Captioning Comments

Posted in Children's Programming and Advertising, EEO Compliance/Diversity, General FCC, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, Internet Radio, Low Power Television/Class A TV, Political Broadcasting, Programming Regulations, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Television
A new year, and a new set of regulatory obligations and deadlines for broadcasters and others.  To help track many of the important deadlines for broadcasters in the new year, we have put together a Broadcaster’s Calendar of important regulatory dates for 2015, available here, which highlights many of the dates for the regulatory obligations … Continue Reading

FCC Sets Dates for Comments on Proposed Changes to Required Disclosures of Broadcast Contest Material Terms

Posted in AM Radio, FCC Fines, FM Radio, General FCC, Programming Regulations, Television
We recently wrote about the proposed changes in the FCC’s rules about station-conducted contests, here.  The FCC has proposed that much of the required disclosure about the material terms of these contests be allowed to be conducted online, rather than having to be announced on-air often enough so that listeners to the station are likely … 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

FCC Fines Station $7000 for Violation of Main Studio Rule – Good Reminder on Broadcast Main Studio Requirements

Posted in AM Radio, FCC Fines, FM Radio, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Television
The FCC issued a Forfeiture Order this week, fining a station $7000 for violations of the main studio rule. The facts of the case were set out in a Notice of Apparent Liability issued back in February, where the licensee had claimed that its studio was in a location that was shared with another broadcaster … 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

The Election is Over, But the Complaints Keep Coming – Should Michael Bloomberg Have Been Identified as the True Sponsor of an Ad Run by his PAC?

Posted in Payola and Sponsorship Identification, Political Broadcasting, Television
Even though the election is over, political broadcasting issues have not stopped.  Yesterday, the same groups (the Campaign Legal Center, Common Cause, and the Sunlight Foundation) that had previously objected to the sponsorship identification of issue ads funded by PACs with a limited donor base have struck again.  This time, they have filed a complaint with … Continue Reading

Formal Proceedings to Begin to Revise Rules for Broadcasters’ On-Air Contests and Expand the Online Public File Obligations to Radio, Cable and Satellite

Posted in AM Radio, Cable Carriage, FCC Fines, FM Radio, General FCC, Political Broadcasting, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Television, Website Issues
Since our note Friday about November regulatory dates for broadcasters, it’s become clear that the FCC will be acting on two more matters of interest to broadcasters – particularly radio broadcasters though each have some implications for TV as well.  First, as we hinted at the end of our article on Friday (the rumors that … Continue Reading

November Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – The End of the Political Window, Incentive Auction and Online Video Clip Comments and More

Posted in General FCC, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, Internet Video, License Renewal, Low Power Television/Class A TV, Political Broadcasting, Television
The month of November is one of those rare months on the FCC calendar when there are few routine regulatory filing deadlines for broadcasters.  In odd years, we would have Biennial Ownership Reports but, being an even year, we can wait until 2015 for that obligation for commercial broadcasters.  There is a new November 28 … 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 Requires that TV JSAs be Filed By November 28, and Releases Guide to Filing Obligations

Posted in Multiple Ownership Rules, Television
As we wrote in early April, the FCC has determined that TV Joint Sales Agreements, by which the owner of one TV station in a market sells more than 15% of the advertising time on another station in the same market, are “attributable interests” under the multiple ownership rules.  That means that a station can … Continue Reading

TV Music Licensing Committee Settles Antitrust Action with SESAC over Music Licensing Rates and Terms – Radio Watches and Wonders if It Can Get a Similar Deal

Posted in AM Radio, Broadcast Performance Royalty, FM Radio, Intellectual Property, Music Rights, Television
SESAC is the one major performing rights organization whose rates have not, until now, been subject to judicial review as part of an antitrust consent decree.  Perhaps because of that fact, broadcast stations have often complained about the rates they charge for the music that they license, as there is currently no cap on what … 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

FCC Seeks Comments on Form for Reimbursement of Expenses for Technical Changes Caused By Repacking the Television Specrum After the Broadcast Incentive Auction

Posted in Broadcast Auctions, Digital Television, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, Television
We wrote last week about some of the upcoming issues on the FCC’s agenda for the very short term related to the TV incentive auction to clear part of the TV spectrum for use by wireless companies, and the subsequent “repacking” of the TV stations who do not sell their licenses in the auction into … Continue Reading

FCC Action on TV Issues Coming Soon – Sports Blackout Rule, White Spaces, Post-Auction Treatment of LPTV and TV Translators, and OET-69 Revisions

Posted in Digital Television, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, Low Power Television/Class A TV, Programming Regulations, Television
While many broadcasters have been watching Capitol Hill as Congress debates the issues surrounding the extension of satellite TV’s copyright permission to retransmit over-the-air television signals, and the attempts to add other provisions to the bill that could affect television stations, there are a number of issues teed up at the FCC that could also … Continue Reading