FTC noncompete rulemaking

Here are some of the regulatory developments of significance to broadcasters from the past week, with links to where you can go to find more information as to how these actions may affect your operations.

  • The FTC announced that it will hold a 45-minute webinar on May 14 at 11:00 a.m. ET to provide an

Here are some of the regulatory developments of significance to broadcasters from the past week, with links to where you can go to find more information as to how these actions may affect your operations.

  • Perhaps the biggest regulatory news of the past week came not from the FCC, but instead from the Federal Trade

Here are some of the regulatory developments of significance to broadcasters from this past week, with links to where you can go to find more information as to how these actions may affect your operations.

  • The FCC announced several dates and deadlines in proceedings of importance to broadcasters:

Earlier this week, we covered the broadcast issues that the FCC may be facing in 2024.  But the FCC is just one of the many branches of government that regulates the activities of broadcasters.  There are numerous federal agencies, the Courts, Congress, and even state legislatures that all are active in adopting rules, making policies, or issuing decisions that can affect the business of broadcasting and the broader media industry.  What are some of the issues we can expect to see addressed in 2024 by these authorities?

For radio, there are music rights issues galore that will be considered.  Early in the year, the Copyright Royalty Board will be initiating the proceeding to set streaming royalties for webcasters (including broadcasters who stream their programming on the Internet) for 2026-2030.  These proceedings, which occur every five years, are lengthy and include extensive discovery and a trial-like hearing to determine what royalty a “willing buyer and a willing seller” would arrive at for the noninteractive use of sound recordings transmitted through internet-based platforms.  Because of the complexity of the process, the CRB starts the proceeding early in the year before the year in which the current royalty rate expires.  So, as the current rates expire at the end of 2025, parties will need to sign up to participate in the proceeding to determine 2026-2030 rates early this year, even though the proceeding is unlikely to be resolved until late 2025 (unless there is an earlier settlement)(the CRB Notice asking for petitions to participate in the proceeding is expected to be published in the Federal Register tomorrow).  Initial stages of the litigation (including the identification of witnesses, the rate proposals, the evidence supporting those proposals, and the initial discovery) will likely take place this year. Continue Reading Gazing into the Crystal Ball at Legal and Policy Issues for Broadcasters in 2024 – Part II: What to Expect from the Courts and Agencies Other than the FCC

April brings to an end the four-year license renewal cycle that began in 2019 with the filing of renewals by radio stations in the Washington DC area. Our monthly updates, like this one, will thus not be highlighting license renewal dates again until mid-2027.  But there are always other regulatory dates which broadcasters need to note.  There are EEO Public File reports due in April for certain states (as they are every other month), the requirement for all full-power broadcast stations to upload to their public file their Quarterly Issues Programs Lists, and there are a number of rulemaking comment deadlines of interest to broadcasters.  So, let’s look at some of the important regulatory dates for broadcasters in April.   

As April 1 is a Saturday, April 3 is the deadline by which television stations, LPTV stations, TV translators and Class A stations in Delaware and Pennsylvania must file their license renewal applications, bringing to a close the current TV license renewal cycle.  Renewal applications must be accompanied by FCC Form 2100, Schedule 396 Broadcast EEO Program Report (except for LPFMs and TV translators).  Stations filing for renewal of their license should make sure that all documents required to be uploaded to the station’s online public file are complete and were uploaded on time.  Be sure to read the instructions for the license renewal application and consult with your advisors if you have questions, especially if you have noticed any discrepancies in your online public file or political file.  Issues with the public file have repeatedly led to fines imposed on broadcasters during renewal cycles.Continue Reading April Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – License Renewals, EEO Reports, Quarterly Issues/Programs Lists, Rulemaking Comments Including FTC Comments on Noncompete Agreements, and More

March may not have any of the regular FCC filing deadlines, but there are still plenty of regulatory activities going on this month that should grab the attention of any broadcast or media company. Initially, there are several FCC proceedings in which there are dates in March worth noting.

Initially, there are comments in the 2022 Quadrennial Review of the FCC’s ownership rules.  As we wrote in our summary of the issues on which comments are requested when it was released in late December, the proceeding is to look at rules including the local radio ownership rules, the dual network rule (prohibiting the combination of two of the big four TV networks), and other rules not yet resolved.  The FCC is charged with determining every four years whether these rules continue to be in the public interest.  Even though the FCC has never finished the 2018 Quadrennial Review examining these same issues, the FCC nevertheless asks for comments on how these rules affect FCC policies including competition, localism, and diversity.  Comments in this proceeding are due March 3, with reply comments due March 20. Continue Reading March Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – Comment Dates on FCC Ownership Rules, FTC Proposed Ban on Noncompete Agreements, and TV Captioning Rules; Higher FCC Application Fees; Daylight Savings Time Adjustments for AM Stations; and More

Here are some of the regulatory developments of significance to broadcasters from the past week, with links to where you can go to find more information as to how these actions may affect your operations.

  • The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit held an oral argument on the appeals of three

Here are some of the regulatory developments of significance to broadcasters from the past week, with links to where you can go to find more information as to how these actions may affect your operations.

  • In a Public Notice released late on Friday, the FCC’s Media Bureau extended the deadline for the upload of Quarterly