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 only have a JSA with a station in the same market if it can own that station under the rules limiting the ownership of TV stations in one market. The FCC gave stations involved in existing JSAs two years to undo current agreements, and the decision is on appeal by the NAB and other affected broadcasters. Nevertheless, the filing requirement has now passed review by the Office of Management and Budget under the Paperwork Reduction Act, and the FCC this week announced that the obligation to submit existing JSAs to the Commission (and to either make them available in each station’s public file or include them in the list of contracts in the file that can be provided upon request) will be effective November 28.
To implement that obligation, and the obligation to submit new JSAs to the FCC within 30 days (and presumably there will be few new JSAs as it will be rare when one station will want to do a JSA with another station in its market if they can actually own that station), the FCC yesterday released a “Small Entity Compliance Guide” to this obligation. These Guides are required by legislation intended to aid Small Businesses by making compliance obligations clear. While the Guide does not disclose anything unexpected, it does make clear that the JSAs must also be reported on Forms 2100 (the new construction permit application for TV stations), Forms 314 and 315 (assignment and transfer application forms), and on the Form 323 (the FCC ownership report form). Licensees should be aware of those obligations.