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Category Archives: Television

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FCC Releases Draft Order on Changes to Children’s Television Rules – Action Expected July 10

Posted in Children's Programming and Advertising, Programming Regulations, Television
In anticipation of its July 10 open meeting, the FCC last week released its draft Order making changes to its rules requiring television stations to broadcast specific amounts of educational and informational programming directed to children.  The current rules require that stations air an average of three hours of such programming every week for every… Continue Reading

FCC Incubator Order Becomes Effective Just as Third Circuit Hears Arguments on 2017 Order Relaxing FCC Broadcast Ownership Rules

Posted in EEO Compliance/Diversity, FM Radio, Multiple Ownership Rules, Television
The Office of Management and Budget, acting pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act, has just approved the FCC’s broadcast incubator program, about which we wrote here.   That approval makes the program effective.  The program permits an established broadcaster to provide assistance to a new broadcaster (generally, a qualified small business) to enter the radio broadcast… Continue Reading

June Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – License Renewal, EEO Reports, Reg Fee Comments, Ownership Appeal Argument and More

Posted in Cable Carriage, Children's Programming and Advertising, Digital Television, EEO Compliance/Diversity, Emergency Communications, FCC Fines, FM Radio, General FCC, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, License Renewal, Multiple Ownership Rules, Programming Regulations, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Television
The license renewal cycle, about which we have been warning broadcasters for at least the last year (see, for instance, our posts here, here and here), is now upon us. June 3 is the filing deadline for license renewals for radio stations in Maryland, DC, Virginia and West Virginia. Radio stations (including FM translators and… Continue Reading

FCC Starts Accepting ATSC 3.0 Applications – The Next Generation of TV Transmission

Posted in Digital Television, Television
Effective yesterday, May 28, the FCC is accepting applications for television stations to begin to convert to the next generation TV transmission standard – ATSC 3.0 or “NexGen TV.” Last week, the Commission issued a Public Notice announcing that the form (FCC Form 2100) necessary for stations to apply to transition to the new standard… Continue Reading

FCC to Hold Public Forum on ENT Captioning of Live TV Programming Tomorrow, May 10

Posted in Emergency Communications, General FCC, Programming Regulations, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Television
The FCC tomorrow will hold a public forum on Electronic Newsroom Technique (ENT) of captioning live TV programming tomorrow from 1 PM to 4:45 PM Eastern Time (see the agenda here). The forum will be available for viewing online (go to the FCC webpage here for information about connecting). This forum may provide a good… Continue Reading

May Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – License Renewal Activities and Lots of Comment Dates

Posted in AM Radio, EEO Compliance/Diversity, FCC Fees, FM Radio, FM Translators and LPFM, General FCC, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, License Renewal, Low Power Television/Class A TV, Multiple Ownership Rules, Noncommercial Broadcasting, Television
With the June 3 filing deadline fast approaching for license renewals for radio stations in Maryland, DC, Virginia and West Virginia, stations (including FM translators and LPFMs) licensed to any community in any of those states should be beginning to prepare their applications. As we wrote here, the FCC forms should be available next week,… Continue Reading

FCC Makes Available TV Incentive Auction Information for Non-Winning Bidders

Posted in Broadcast Auctions, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, Television
The FCC this week released a Public Notice announcing that it was making available information about all bidders in the TV incentive auction – including information about TV stations who had bid to surrender their licenses in the auction and were unsuccessful in those bids. The FCC had promised to keep that information confidential for… Continue Reading

Regulatory Issues from the NAB Convention: License Renewals, ATSC 3.0, Translator Interference, Ownership Rules, and Children’s TV

Posted in Children's Programming and Advertising, FM Translators and LPFM, General FCC, License Renewal, Multiple Ownership Rules, Programming Regulations, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Television
Questions about regulations from Washington don’t disappear just because you are spending time in Las Vegas, and this week’s NAB Convention brought discussion of many such issues. We’ll write about the discussion of antitrust issues that occurred during several sessions at the Convention in another post. But, today, we will report on news about more… Continue Reading

April Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – Radio License Renewal, Quarterly Issues Programs Lists and Children’s Television Reports, Repacking and EEO Dates, and Comments on the Quadrennial Review

Posted in EEO Compliance/Diversity, General FCC, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, License Renewal, Multiple Ownership Rules, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Television
April, as we wrote last month, begins the start of the radio license renewal process, with stations in Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia having to run on the 1st and 16th of the month public notices of the planned filing of their license renewals at the beginning of June.  As we… Continue Reading

FCC Adopts New Rules on Satellite TV Stations, Removing Order from March Meeting Agenda

Posted in Assignments and Transfers, Television
Earlier this week, the FCC released an order adopting new rules governing the sale of TV stations serving as “satellites” of other stations in their markets – either rebroadcasting the primary station or otherwise operating in conjunction with that parent station, usually serving rural areas where an independent full-service station cannot economically operate. The new… Continue Reading

Do TV Program Ratings Do a Good Job Telling Families Which Programs are Appropriate for Kids to Watch? Congress Wants to Know, So the FCC is Asking

Posted in Children's Programming and Advertising, Programming Regulations, Television
The FCC this week launched an inquiry into whether the TV Parental Guidelines and the organization that oversees these ratings provide accurate information to viewers as to which TV programs are appropriate for children. The FCC released a Public Notice to initiate the inquiry at the direction of Congress in the recently passed Consolidated Appropriations… Continue Reading

FCC To Consider Rule for Repacking Expense Reimbursement for Radio and LPTV, and New Rules for Sale of Satellite Television Stations, at March Meeting

Posted in Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, Low Power Television/Class A TV, Television
At its March 15 meeting, the FCC is scheduled to consider two items dealing with broadcasters, according to a blog post authored by Chairman Pai published yesterday. The first item to be considered deals with LPTV stations and TV translators, as well FM broadcasters – setting out the rules for reimbursement to be paid to… Continue Reading

FEC Seeks Comment on Proposal for Change in TV Political Disclosures

Posted in Payola and Sponsorship Identification, Political Broadcasting, Television
We usually think of the FCC as the agency that sets the details of the broadcast disclosure obligations for political candidate’s TV ads. But the Federal Election Commission has its own rules for political advertising that are binding on the candidates, rather than on the stations. But because these ads run on broadcast stations, stations… Continue Reading

Elimination of Requirement that Broadcasters Post Their Licenses Becomes Effective

Posted in AM Radio, FCC Fines, FM Radio, General FCC, Television
As we wrote here, at the FCC’s December meeting, the FCC was scheduled to adopt an order eliminating the requirement that broadcasters post a physical copy of their licenses and other instruments of authorization at their control points or transmitter sites. In fact, the Commission adopted that order before the meeting, and it today published… Continue Reading

FCC Seeks Comments on Video Description Marketplace for Report to Congress

Posted in Programming Regulations, Television
Commercial television broadcast stations that are affiliated with one of the top four commercial television broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC) and are located in the top 60 television markets are required to provide 50 hours per calendar quarter of video-described prime time or children’s programming, and to provide an additional 37.5 hours of… Continue Reading

FCC Sets Up Re-Scan Help Desk for Consumers Dealing With TV Repacking

Posted in Digital Television, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, Television
The FCC yesterday announced that it is setting up a consumer help desk, where operators will be standing by to answer questions about rescanning the TV spectrum to find TV stations that have changed channels due to the repacking of the TV band. Many TV stations will be changing channels due to the repacking of… Continue Reading

December Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – EEO Reports, December FCC Meeting and Getting Ready for New Years’ Obligations

Posted in Children's Programming and Advertising, Digital Television, EEO Compliance/Diversity, General FCC, Multiple Ownership Rules, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Television
While the holidays may be upon us, there is no rest in the broadcast regulatory world. December 1 brings routine EEO public file report obligations for radio and television station employment units with 5 or more full-time employees for stations located in Alabama, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Rhode… Continue Reading

With a Hurricane Bearing Down on the East Coast, Remember the FCC’s Requirements for Emergency Communications

Posted in Emergency Communications, Television
With Hurricane Florence about to hit the East Coast, broadcasters are well reminded of their obligations with respect to the airing of emergency information. Broadcasters may also want to consider the benefits that the FCC can offer in an emergency. While the FCC yesterday announced the postponement of its test of DIRS, the Disaster Information… Continue Reading

FCC Reminds C-Band Satellite Dish Users – Including Broadcasters – To Register By October 17

Posted in AM Radio, FM Radio, General FCC, Programming Regulations, Television, Tower Issues
On Friday, the FCC issued a reminder to all operators “of fixed-satellite service (FSS) earth stations in the 3.7-4.2 GHz band that were constructed and operational as of April 19, 2018 that the filing window to license or register such earth stations closes on October 17, 2018.” This frequency band is commonly referred to as… Continue Reading

Annual Regulatory Fees Due September 25 – Expect Changes in TV Fees Starting Next Year

Posted in AM Radio, FCC Fees, FM Radio, Television
Just when you thought that it might be safe to stop watching your email and prepare to enjoy the long weekend, the FCC comes along and reminds you that there is work ahead in September. As we warned in our summary of the regulatory dates for broadcasters in September, the FCC announced the deadline for… Continue Reading

More September Regulatory Dates – Effective Date of New Application Fees, Filing Deadline for TV Shared Services Agreements, Lowest Unit Rate For September Election and Reminder on Repacking Requirements

Posted in Advertising Issues, Digital Television, FCC Fees, General FCC, Multiple Ownership Rules, Political Broadcasting, Television
Yesterday, we wrote about the regulatory dates coming up for broadcasters in September.  Even though that was an extensive list, we realized later that we left a few off.  So here are a few more issues to consider in September.  Plus, the FCC yesterday reminded repacked TV stations of all of the requirements for TV… Continue Reading

September Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – Annual Regulatory Fees; Nationwide EAS Test; Comment Dates on FM Translator Interference, Audio Competition, Children’s Television Requirements, and Reimbursement for LPTV and FM Repacking Costs; and More

Posted in AM Radio, Broadcast Performance Royalty, Children's Programming and Advertising, Emergency Communications, FCC Fees, FM Radio, FM Translators and LPFM, General FCC, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, Intellectual Property, Low Power Television/Class A TV, Multiple Ownership Rules, Music Rights, Programming Regulations, Television
While September is one of those months with neither EEO reports nor Quarterly Issues Programs or Children’s Television Reports, that does not mean that there are no regulatory matters of importance to broadcasters. Quite the contrary – as there are many deadlines to which broadcasters should be paying attention. The one regulatory obligation that in… Continue Reading