Last year, the FCC made some modifications in its assessment of foreign ownership of companies with broadcast interests, relaxing some of their compliance rules to take account of the realities of the current public stock trading marketplace – realities that, using the FCC’s old policies, made determinations of the level of foreign ownership in any company difficult. We wrote about the changes made by the FCC here. Those rules became effective yesterday, when the approval of the changes by the Office of Management and Budget under the Paperwork Reduction Act was published in the Federal Register.
As we wrote here, the FCC has already referred to these new rules in assessing and approving broadcast ownership in excess of 25% of several broadcast companies. In fact, as we wrote here, the FCC has even allowed 100% ownership of a privately-held company with broadcast interests – where a husband and wife team from Australia purchased a number of primarily radio stations in Alaska and Texas. With the new rules now effective, the opportunity for more foreign investment in US broadcast stations is highlighted once again.