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Broadcast Law Blog

Category Archives: Multiple Ownership Rules

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December FCC Meeting to be an Important One for Broadcasters and Other Media Companies

Posted in Cable Carriage, Emergency Communications, General FCC, Multiple Ownership Rules, On Line Media, Television, Tower Issues, Website Issues
Last week, just before Thanksgiving, the FCC released the tentative agenda for its December meeting. From that agenda, it appears that the meeting will be an important one for broadcasters and other media companies. Already, the press has spent incredible amounts of time focusing on one item, referred to as “Restoring Internet Freedom” by the… Continue Reading

Full Texts of Last Week’s FCC Decisions on Ownership and Next Generation Television Now Available

Posted in Digital Television, General FCC, Multiple Ownership Rules, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Television
The FCC late yesterday released full texts of the decisions adopted last week to revise the broadcast ownership rules and approve the next generation television standard (ATSC 3.0). We summarized last week’s decisions, based on the press releases released after the meetings, in our article here. The full text of the ownership decision, available here,… Continue Reading

FCC Approves Ownership Rule Changes and Next-Gen TV ATSC 3.0 Standard

Posted in Digital Television, Multiple Ownership Rules, Television
At its meeting yesterday, as expected, the FCC approved significant changes to its broadcast ownership rules and also approved the roll out of ATSC 3.0 – the next generation television transmission standard. While any change in ownership rules is always a contentious issue, and thus the 3-2 strict party-line vote approving the ownership changes might… Continue Reading

November Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – Including Broadcast Ownership, ATSC, Main Studio, EAS, TV Improvements and FM Translator Settlements

Posted in AM Radio, Broadcast Auctions, Digital Television, Emergency Communications, FM Translators and LPFM, General FCC, Multiple Ownership Rules, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Television
While November is an odd numbered month in which there are no deadlines for EEO Public File or Mid-term Reports, and it is not the beginning of a new calendar quarter when Quarterly Issues Programs Reports are added to a station’s public file and Quarterly Children’s Television Reports are filed with the FCC, that does… Continue Reading

November FCC Meeting to be an Important One for Broadcasters – FCC Releases Draft Orders on ATSC 3.0 and Ownership Rule Revisions

Posted in Digital Television, Multiple Ownership Rules, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Television
Yesterday, we previewed the FCC’s likely decision to significantly change its ownership rules for television owners – proposing to take actions including allowing TV duopolies in markets with fewer than 8 independent TV voices after the combination, allowing some combination of the Top 4 TV stations in certain markets, repealing the radio-TV cross-ownership rules, and… Continue Reading

Stay Tuned: Big Broadcast Ownership Rule Changes to be Unveiled Later Today

Posted in Multiple Ownership Rules, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Television
According to the testimony given yesterday by FCC Chairman Pai at an oversight hearing before the House of Representatives Communications and Technology Subcommittee, the FCC is likely to release today a draft of its order on reconsideration of last year’s FCC decision on its Quadrennial Review of its broadcast ownership rules (the rules restricting the… Continue Reading

October Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – Quarterly Issues Programs and Children’s Television Reports, EEO Obligations, Repacking Reports and More

Posted in AM Radio, Children's Programming and Advertising, EEO Compliance/Diversity, FCC Fines, FM Radio, FM Translators and LPFM, General FCC, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, License Renewal, Multiple Ownership Rules, Programming Regulations, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Television
The beginning of a calendar quarter always brings numerous regulatory obligations, and October is one of those months with a particularly full set of obligations. All full-power broadcasters, commercial and noncommercial, must complete their Quarterly Issues Programs Lists and place these reports into their public inspection files by October 10. These reports are the FCC’s… Continue Reading

FCC Declares Sinclair/Tribune Transaction a Permit-But-Disclose Proceeding Allowing for More Public Participation in the Review Process

Posted in Multiple Ownership Rules, Television
Yesterday, the FCC issued a Public Notice declaring the proposed acquisition of the Tribune television stations by Sinclair Broadcast Group a “permit-but-disclose” proceeding. This is not an unusual occurrence in a large broadcast combination where policy issues may be considered. This simply allows the parties to the transaction, and any other party who files comments… Continue Reading

Modernization of Media Regulation – What Rule Changes Should Broadcasters be Requesting?

Posted in EEO Compliance/Diversity, FCC Fines, FM Radio, General FCC, Multiple Ownership Rules, Political Broadcasting, Programming Regulations, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Television
It is not every year that the FCC seriously asks broadcasters for suggestions as to what rules it should abolish or modify, but that is exactly what the FCC is doing in its Modernization of Media Regulation proceeding (about which we wrote here and here). Comments due the week after next, on July 5, and… Continue Reading

Court Rejects Stay on FCC’s Reinstatement of UHF Discount – Does it Mean TV Ownership Consolidation is in the Clear?

Posted in Digital Television, Multiple Ownership Rules, Television
Yesterday, in a very short one page decision, the US Court of Appeals rejected the requests filed by public interest groups to stay the effect of the FCC’s decision to reinstate the UHF discount (see our article here about some of the issues involved in this stay request, and our article here about the reinstatement… Continue Reading

Court Issues an Administrative Stay on Effective Date of Reinstatement of UHF Discount While It Considers Arguments as to Whether to Put the Discount on Hold

Posted in Multiple Ownership Rules, Television
When the FCC last month reinstated the UHF discount (see our article here), it opened the door to ownership consolidation in the television industry, and immediately deals were announced based on the discount being back in place. But public interest groups in DC, fearing too much consolidation, asked the FCC to stay the effect of… Continue Reading

FCC Officially Starts Proceedings to Abolish Main Studio Rule and Review All Other Broadcast Rules

Posted in AM Radio, FCC Fines, General FCC, Multiple Ownership Rules, Programming Regulations, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Television
As expected, at its monthly open meeting yesterday, the FCC started two proceedings of particular importance to broadcasters. The first looks at the abolition of the main studio rules. The second asks for comments on all of the other rules affecting broadcasters and other media companies to see which are ripe for appeal. For the… Continue Reading

FCC Changes in Rules on Computation of Foreign Ownership of Broadcast Stations Now Effective

Posted in AM Radio, FM Radio, General FCC, Multiple Ownership Rules, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Television
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… Continue Reading

FCC Releases Draft Order to Reinstate UHF Discount at April 20 Meeting – A New Round of TV Consolidation? 

Posted in Multiple Ownership Rules, Television
The FCC yesterday released the agenda for its April 20th meeting – and it includes three broadcast items.  Two deal with noncommercial broadcasters (undoing the requirement for noncommercial broadcasters to get Social Security Numbers from its board members so that they can acquire an FCC Registration Number for them – see our articles here and… Continue Reading

FCC Approves For the First Time 100% Foreign Ownership of US Broadcast Stations

Posted in AM Radio, FM Radio, Multiple Ownership Rules, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Television
The FCC yesterday released its first decision approving 100% foreign ownership of a group of US broadcast stations. This comes after significant relaxation of the FCC’s interpretation of the foreign ownership limits which, less than 4 years ago, had been interpreted to effectively prohibit foreign ownership of more than 25% of a company controlling broadcast licensees (see… Continue Reading

What’s Up for Broadcasters in Washington Under the New Administration – A Look Ahead at TV and Radio FCC Issues for the Rest of 2017

Posted in AM Radio, EEO Compliance/Diversity, FCC Fines, FM Radio, FM Translators and LPFM, General FCC, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, Indecency, Multiple Ownership Rules, Noncommercial Broadcasting, Political Broadcasting, Programming Regulations, Television
A new President and a new Chair of the FCC have already demonstrated that change is in the air in Washington. Already we’ve seen Chairman Pai lead the FCC to abolish the requirement that broadcasters maintain letters from the public about station operations in their public file (which will take effect once the Paperwork Reduction… Continue Reading

Undoing the Past – New FCC Rescinds Rulings on Noncommercial Ownership Reports, Political Broadcasting Sponsorship Disclosure and Shared Services Agreements

Posted in Multiple Ownership Rules, Noncommercial Broadcasting, Payola and Sponsorship Identification, Political Broadcasting, Television
With the change in administration at the FCC, there are opportunities for certain actions to be taken very quickly, without going through the full process of a rulemaking requiring public notice of the proposed rule change and time for public comment.  At the end of this last week, we saw the FCC’s Media Bureau take… Continue Reading

February Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – EEO Reports and Comments on Ownership, EEO and Copyright Issues

Posted in EEO Compliance/Diversity, FM Radio, General FCC, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, Intellectual Property, Internet Radio, Multiple Ownership Rules, Music Rights, Television
While there is a new administration in charge at the FCC, there are still those regular regulatory dates that broadcasters must face, as well as dates unique to pending proceedings that arise from time to time. Before we get to the February dates, we should remind broadcasters of those January 31 dates that they should… Continue Reading

Ajit Pai Named New FCC Chair, Appoints Temporary Head of Media Bureau and Speaks to Commission Staff

Posted in AM Radio, General FCC, Multiple Ownership Rules, Noncommercial Broadcasting
This week, the appointment of Commissioner Ajit Pai as Chairman of the FCC became official.  Since his appointment on Monday, he has released a list of acting bureau chiefs at the FCC (here), including naming Michelle Carey, a long-time FCC employee, as Acting Chief of the Media Bureau upon the departure of Bill Lake who… Continue Reading

FCC Extends Comment Dates on Petitions for Reconsideration of the Media Ownership Rules

Posted in Multiple Ownership Rules
The FCC today announced that it is extending, by one week, the time in which to file comments on the Petitions for Reconsideration of the FCC’s decision on media ownership rules. The challenges, about which we wrote here, deal with issues including the local television ownership limits, the newspaper-broadcast cross-ownership rules, the attribution for multiple… Continue Reading

FCC Denies Reconsideration of Noncommercial Broadcasting Ownership Report Requirements – But Signs that New Commission May See Things Differently

Posted in EEO Compliance/Diversity, General FCC, Multiple Ownership Rules, Noncommercial Broadcasting
The FCC’s Media Bureau yesterday issued an order denying reconsideration of the full Commission decision from last year, synchronizing the Biennial Ownership Report filing requirement for noncommercial broadcasters with that of commercial broadcasters, and requiring that all individuals who have attributable interests in these stations obtain an FCC Registration Number (an “FRN”)(see our summary of… Continue Reading

FCC Approves Up to 49% Foreign Ownership of Univision – What Guidance is Provided to Potential Foreign Investors in US Broadcast Stations?

Posted in General FCC, Multiple Ownership Rules, Public Interest Obligations/Localism
In a decision released yesterday, the FCC issued a Declaratory Ruling permitting certain identified foreign companies and individuals to own up to 40% of the voting interests in Univision, and allowed aggregate foreign ownership of up to 49% of the equity of the company. This decision noted that it was based not on the new… Continue Reading

January Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – Quarterly Issues Programs Lists and Children’s Television Reports, Ownership and EEO Comments, Copyright Issues and More

Posted in Children's Programming and Advertising, EEO Compliance/Diversity, General FCC, Intellectual Property, Internet Radio, Internet Video, Multiple Ownership Rules, Music Rights, On Line Media, Programming Regulations, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Television, Website Issues
Here we are at the start of a new year, and right away we have numerous regulatory deadlines for broadcasters. By the 10th of the month, all broadcast stations need to have placed in their public inspection files (online for TV and for those radio stations that have already converted to the online public file,… Continue Reading