Broadcast Law Blog

Broadcast Law Blog

Category Archives: Television

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FCC Chairman Details Issues Coming Soon for Broadcasters – Review of Retransmission Consent, Network Nonduplication, AM Improvements, and Contest Rules

Posted in Advertising Issues, AM Radio, Cable Carriage, Digital Radio, Digital Television, FM Radio, Programming Regulations, Television, Website Issues
In an article posted on the FCC’s blog yesterday, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler listed four actions that would soon be coming out of the FCC to address broadcast issues. For TV, these include looking at what constitutes “good faith negotiations” in the retransmission consent context, and whether to do away with the FCC’s network nonduplication… Continue Reading

FCC Sets December 2 Deadline for Filing 2015 Biennial Ownership Reports for Commercial Broadcast Stations

Posted in AM Radio, Digital Television, EEO Compliance/Diversity, FM Radio, General FCC, Low Power Television/Class A TV, Multiple Ownership Rules, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Television
The FCC today released an Order setting December 2 as the date for the filing of FCC Form 323 Ownership Reports by commercial broadcast stations. All commercial broadcasters must submit this report. While the report is technically supposed to be filed by November 1 every other year, that date has routinely been extended as the… Continue Reading

Church Programming Not Exempt From Captioning Requirements – FCC Looks to Total Assets of Programmer in Denying Economic Exemptions, and Decides There are No Religious Freedom Constitutional Issues

Posted in Digital Television, Noncommercial Broadcasting, Programming Regulations, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Television
In several recent cases, the FCC has denied exemptions from the requirement that programming carried on TV stations and MVPDs have closed captions to serve the hearing impaired members of the viewing audience. While exemptions from these requirements are allowed if a programmer can demonstrate that the captioning would present an economic hardship, these waivers… Continue Reading

A Compulsory License for Internet TV Platforms to Retransmit Broadcast TV? One US District Court Considering FilmOnX Seems to Think So

Posted in Cable Carriage, Digital Television, Internet Video, On Line Media, Television, Website Issues
  Over-the-top video systems, using the Internet to transmit over-the-air TV signals to consumers, are back in the news. Last week, a US District Court Judge in the Central District of California, in a case involving FilmOnX, an Aereo-like service that had been involved in many of the court decisions that had preceded the Supreme… Continue Reading

$90,000 Payment to FCC by TV Owner for Claiming Reruns of One-Time Programs as Meeting “CORE” Children’s Educational and Informational Programming Requirement

Posted in Children's Programming and Advertising, FCC Fines, License Renewal, Low Power Television/Class A TV, Television
On Friday, the FCC announced a consent decree for violations of the requirements that TV stations provide at least three weekly hours of CORE programming addressing the educational and informational needs of children. The operator of eight TV and Class A TV stations in the southeast US agreed to make a $90,000 “voluntary contribution” to… Continue Reading

March 29, 2016 Proposed in FCC Documents for Start of TV Incentive Auction

Posted in Broadcast Auctions, Digital Television, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, Television
It looks like the dates for the FCC incentive auction (where some broadcasters will sell their spectrum to the FCC to be repackaged and resold to wireless companies for wireless broadband purposes) are becoming clear.  After this week’s delay of the consideration of the incentive auction items (see our article here), the drafts of the… Continue Reading

FCC Asks for Comments on Petition for Rulemaking that Would Tie TV License Renewals to Restrictions on Blackouts after the Expiration of Retransmission Consent Agreements

Posted in Cable Carriage, Digital Television, Intellectual Property, License Renewal, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Television
The FCC issued a public notice seeking comment on a Petition for Rulemaking filed by cable operator Mediacom asking for the FCC to require TV stations, in their license renewal applications, to certify that the licensee will not block any multichannel video programming distributor (i.e. cable or satellite TV) from carrying the signal of the station… Continue Reading

FCC Delays Consideration of TV Incentive Auction Procedures

Posted in Broadcast Auctions, Digital Television, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, Television
The FCC was today supposed to be considering the adoption of a public notice that would specify the detailed procedures to be used in the incentive auction (see our articles here and here).  In the incentive auction, the FCC will buy the spectrum used by a number of TV stations, repack the remaining TV stations into… Continue Reading

Our Quarterly Review of the Legal and Regulatory Issues Facing TV Broadcasters

Posted in Digital Television, General FCC, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, Low Power Television/Class A TV, Multiple Ownership Rules, Programming Regulations, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Television
Each quarter, my partner David O’Connor and I update a list of the legal and regulatory issues facing TV broadcasters. That list of issues is published by TVNewsCheck and is available on their website, here. Our latest update was published today, and provides a summary of the status of legal and regulatory issues ranging from… Continue Reading

Does a Local Business Need Licenses from ASCAP, BMI and SESAC to Play My Radio or TV Station on Their Premises?

Posted in Advertising Issues, AM Radio, Broadcast Performance Royalty, FM Radio, Intellectual Property, Internet Radio, Music Rights, Television
Twice this morning, I was faced with the question of whether a business needs a license to play a radio or TV station on their premises, once in a story in one of the broadcast trade publications (see the article here, in the You Can’t Make This Up column toward the bottom of the article)… Continue Reading

TV Incentive Auction Moves Forward – The FCC Denies Reconsideration of Auction Framework, Asks for Comments on TVStudy Predictions of Station Coverage to be used in Determining Station Values

Posted in Broadcast Auctions, Digital Television, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, Low Power Television/Class A TV, Television
  Earlier this week, we wrote about the Court of Appeals decision denying appeals of the FCC’s 2014 order setting the framework for the incentive auction to reclaim spectrum used by TV stations and repurpose it for use by wireless companies to provide more high-speed wireless broadband opportunities. But, in addition to the appeals, there… Continue Reading

July Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – Quarterly Issues Programs Lists and Children’s Television Reports, Incentive Auction Actions, CRB Webcasting Closing Argument and More

Posted in Broadcast Auctions, Children's Programming and Advertising, Digital Television, EEO Compliance/Diversity, FM Radio, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, Intellectual Property, Internet Radio, Music Rights, Programming Regulations, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Television
Another month is upon us, with the typical list of FCC dates of importance – and some new issues (including incentive auction developments that will probably be a regular part of our news through a good part of next year). One date of importance to some TV broadcasters was yesterday – July 1 – when… Continue Reading

Incentive Auction Next Step – FCC Identifies Auction-Eligible Stations and Requires All TV Stations to File Information on Technical Facilities by July 9

Posted in Broadcast Auctions, Digital Television, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, Low Power Television/Class A TV, Television
The FCC just took another step toward the TV incentive auction, and set one of the first of what will no doubt be many deadlines for stations to meet as part of the process. The FCC released a list of all stations that they find to be eligible to participate in the incentive auction. These… Continue Reading

June Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – EEO Public File Reports and Form 397, CALM Act Compliance Obligations, Incentive Auction Actions, Comments on Reg Fees and LPFM Rules, and More

Posted in Digital Television, EEO Compliance/Diversity, FCC Fees, FM Radio, FM Translators and LPFM, General FCC, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, License Renewal, Noncommercial Broadcasting, Programming Regulations, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Television
June brings some standard obligations for broadcasters in a number of states with anniversaries of their license renewal filing, plus the return of an obligation that we have not seen in 4 years- the obligations of radio stations in certain states to file an FCC Form 397 Mid-Term EEO Report. In addition to these routine… Continue Reading

FCC Extends Deadline for TV Stations to Convert Emergency Information in Textual Crawls to Audio on SAP Channels

Posted in Emergency Communications, Programming Regulations, Television
The FCC yesterday granted extensions requested by the National Association of Broadcasters and by the American Cable Association of the deadlines for implementation of obligations to convert emergency information conveyed in text (usually in on-screen crawls) on television broadcasts into audio to be broadcast on a TV station’s SAP channel (the second audio programming channel… Continue Reading

May Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – Including EEO Mid-Term Reports, FM Auction, Emergency Communications Compliance, TV Market Modification Comments, Class A TV Digital Conversion Deadline and More

Posted in Broadcast Auctions, Cable Carriage, EEO Compliance/Diversity, Emergency Communications, FM Radio, General FCC, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, License Renewal, Television
May is one of those months where there are no routine, recurring FCC regulatory filing deadlines – no EEO reports or Quarterly Issues Programs lists, no Children’s Television Programming Reports or noncommercial station ownership report deadlines. But, as with any month, that does not mean that there are no dates of concern for broadcasters –… Continue Reading

FCC Announces that LPTV September 1 Digital Conversion Deadline is Suspended – Conversion Deadlines Remain in Place for Class A TV Stations

Posted in Digital Television, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, Low Power Television/Class A TV, Television
The FCC today released a Public Notice announcing that they are suspending the September digital conversion deadline for LPTV stations.  Given the upcoming incentive auction, it seems clear that it makes no sense to force an LPTV station to go digital, when it could be knocked off the air or forced to change channels a… Continue Reading

FCC Admonishes TV Station for Including Commercial Website Address in Children’s Program – A Good Reminder on Children’s Television Program Restrictions

Posted in Children's Programming and Advertising, FCC Fines, On Line Media, Programming Regulations, Television, Website Issues
In a decision just released by the FCC, a TV station was admonished for including, in the credits of a TV program, the URL for a website that contained commercial material. As this was deemed by the FCC to be an isolated occurrence, the station was only admonished, not fined for the violation. But the… Continue Reading

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