At its open meeting yesterday, the FCC adopted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking looking to ease the paperwork involved in the sale of a satellite television station – i.e. a station, usually in a smaller market that is associated (and often rebroadcasts) another station in that market. As we wrote here when we summarized the draft Notice of Proposed Rulemaking released in anticipation of yesterday’s meeting, the Commission proposed to simplify the sale process by not requiring that a buyer prove that the conditions that initially warranted the operation of the station as a satellite not subject to the multiple ownership rules were still in place. That means that the parties to a proposed sale don’t have to search to see if there is a buyer who is willing to operate the satellite as an independent station, and don’t have to prove that the satellite station could not operate on its own – unless that premise is challenged during the course of the FCC’s review and approval of the proposed sale. Comments on this proposal will be due 30 days after this NPRM is published in the Federal Register, with reply comments due 15 days later.
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