Broadcast Law Blog

Broadcast Law Blog

Tag Archives: TV

More Evidence that a Digital Television Conversion Delay May Be On Its Way – But There is Opposition

Posted in Digital Television, Television
A day after the Obama transition team wrote to Congress suggesting that the DTV transition now scheduled for February 17 be delayed, there are indications that a bandwagon effect is beginning to develop in favor of such a delay.  Broadcasting and Cable magazine’s website reports that the four major TV networks have indicated that they support a delay… Continue Reading

Gazing Into the Crystal Ball – The Outlook for Broadcast Regulation in 2009

Posted in Advertising Issues, AM Radio, Broadcast Performance Royalty, Cable Carriage, Digital Radio, Digital Television, EEO Compliance/Diversity, Fairness Doctrine, General FCC, Indecency, Internet Radio, Low Power Television/Class A TV, Multiple Ownership Rules, Payola and Sponsorship Identification, Political Broadcasting, Programming Regulations, Public Interest Obligations/Localism
Come the New Year, we all engage in speculation about what’s ahead in our chosen fields, so it’s time for us to look into our crystal ball to try to discern what Washington may have in store for broadcasters in 2009. With each new year, a new set of regulatory issues face the broadcaster from the… Continue Reading

Class A TVs Have Children’s Programming Obligations Too – FCC Fines Stations that Forgot

Posted in Children's Programming and Advertising, FCC Fines, Low Power Television/Class A TV, Television
In several decisions released on Friday (here, here and here), the FCC fined Class A TV stations for not meeting their obligations under the Children’s Television Rules to notify their viewers about the location of their public file containing information about the educational and informational programming they broadcast directed to children, and for failure to… Continue Reading

Processing of New NCE Applications Proceeds – FCC Releases Fair Distribution Analysis for 26 Groups of Noncommercial FM Applicants

Posted in Noncommercial Broadcasting
The FCC’s staff today issued an Order resolving 26 Groups of mutually exclusive FM applications submitted last year in the filing window for new noncommercial FM stations. We wrote about a previous order in August, processing a smaller group of such applicants.  In each of these groups, the Commission analyzed the coverage proposed by the applicants to… Continue Reading

Detroit Newspapers Cut Back on Publishing and Home Delivery – What’s the Impact on FCC Ownership Regulation?

Posted in Multiple Ownership Rules, On Line Media
Yesterday, the Detroit Free Press and the Detroit Morning News, which operate their publication and distribution operations through a joint operating agreement, announced that they will cut back on the physical publication of their papers – publishing full editions delivered to homes only three days a week.  On other days, the papers will publish an… Continue Reading

Congress Throws an Analog Lifeline While Telling FCC to Deal With the DTV Transition and Cancel Meeting, While New Administration Pushes for Phone Banks for Consumer Complaints

Posted in Digital Television
The digital television conversion end game is upon us, and everyone seems to be getting a little testy.  Seemingly, not everyone is convinced that the consumer education efforts have prepared the public for the transition, and thus Washington seems to be preparing for problems.  But, in a last minute attempt to solve some of the… Continue Reading

As the FCC Transition Progresses, The Broadcast Industry Shows Economic Strains – Tribune and Equity Declare Bankruptcy and NBC Cuts Programming Costs By Putting Leno on at 10 PM, Five Days A Week

Posted in General FCC
As the Obama administration fills its top level government posts, all eyes are now turning to the next levels of government appointments which, at some point, will include a new Chair of the FCC and potentially other new FCC Commissioners. We wrote about our hopes for an Obama administration at the FCC immediately after the election,… Continue Reading

FCC Approves White Spaces Devices in TV Band – While Some Hail a Boon to Wireless Internet, Others Say Not So Fast

Posted in Digital Television, Television
At the FCC meeting held on Election Day, the Commission approved the operation of "white spaces" devices in the TV spectrum.  These would be mobile, unlicensed devices that would operate on TV channels that are not used in a particular location.  Many Internet users have hailed the expansion of wireless Internet opportunities that they believe that this decision… Continue Reading

Issues on the Post-Transition Use of the Television Spectrum – White Spaces and Distributed Transmission Service (DTS)

Posted in Digital Television
With the final transition of television from analog to digital soon upon us, the FCC has scheduled for consideration at its November meeting two items that will address the use of the television spectrum after the transition – one designed to improve television reception, and the other viewed by television broadcasters as a threat to… Continue Reading

FCC Investigating TV Commentators Who Were Allegedly Paid to Present Views on Military Issues

Posted in Payola and Sponsorship Identification, Political Broadcasting
According to numerous press articles, including this one in Multichannel News, the FCC has begun an investigation into several commentators on TV news programs to see if they were receiving payments or other consideration for presenting a particular viewpoint on military issues on which they were interviewed.  According to press reports, the FCC has sent… Continue Reading

FCC Tackles Equipment Manufacturers for Not Including DTV Tuners in Their Devices

Posted in Digital Television, Television
 As the digital television transition continues to progress, the FCC has been pursuing not only broadcasters who have been slow in building out their digital facilities, but also consumer electronic manufacturers who have not done enough to facilitate the transition. In a letter released this week, Chairman Martin has by letter urged consumer electronics retailers to… Continue Reading

What to Do With TV Channels 5 and 6 – Proposals to Turn Them Over to Radio Services

Posted in Digital Radio, Digital Television, FM Radio, FM Translators and LPFM
The Digital Television conversion has allowed the FCC to reclaim significant portions of the TV spectrum for wireless and public safety uses – television channels above 51 will no longer be used for broadcast TV at the end of the analog to digital transition.  But, as part of the FCC’s Diversity proceeding (see our post here),… Continue Reading

Dates for Reimbursement Under the LPTV Digital-to-Analog Grant Program Revised

Posted in Digital Television, Low Power Television/Class A TV, Television
On Monday, the President signed into law a bill adjusting the reimbursement dates of the Low Power Television grant program by which LPTV and TV translator stations can seek a $1,000 grant in order to ensure that they are able to continue to receive and rebroadcast the signals of primary full-power television stations once the… Continue Reading

The Digital Transition End Game in Smaller Markets – The Problem with LPTV

Posted in Digital Television, Low Power Television/Class A TV
I recently attended the convention of the Montana Broadcasters Association, and just a few weeks before that I had been at an event sponsored by the Washington State Association of Broadcasters.  Talking with small market TV Broadcasters in those states, an issue that does not affect major television markets but which complicates the digital transition has become clear. … Continue Reading

FCC Extends Comment Deadline in Diversity Proceeding

Posted in AM Radio, Cable Carriage, EEO Compliance/Diversity, FM Radio, Low Power Television/Class A TV, Public Interest Obligations/Localism
The FCC today issued an order extending the comment deadline in its Broadcast Diversity proceeding, extending the comment date a full month until July 30, with Reply Comments now due on August 29.  This important proceeding, about which we wrote here, will address many issues, including proposals to, among other things, repurpose television Channel 6 (and… Continue Reading

What Will the FCC Learn from Wilmington – The Beginning of the End of the TV Digital Transition

Posted in Digital Television, Television
With the Digital Television conversion date only eight and a half months away, the end game is beginning.  The FCC has announced that Wilmington, North Carolina will be a test market for the digital conversion, going all-digital on September 8 (or almost all digital, as the local NPR affiliate is not planning to turn off its analog… Continue Reading

Senate Resolution of Disapproval on Multiple Ownership – What Does it Mean?

Posted in Multiple Ownership Rules
Last week, the US Senate passed a resolution of disapproval, which seeks to overturn the FCC’s December decision relaxing the multiple ownership rules to allow newspapers and television stations to come under common ownership in the nation’s largest markets (see our summary of the FCC decision here).  This vote, by itself, does not overturn that… Continue Reading

FCC’s Acts to Increase Diversity in Media Ownership – Part 2, The Proposals for Future Actions – Channel 6 for FM, AM Expanded Band, Definition of Designated Entity, Must Carry for Class A TV and Others

Posted in EEO Compliance/Diversity, FM Radio, Low Power Television/Class A TV, Multiple Ownership Rules, Public Interest Obligations/Localism
We recently wrote about the Federal Communications Commission’s actions in their Diversity docket, designed to promote new entrants into the ranks of broadcast station owners. In addition to the rules adopted in the proceeding, the FCC is seeking comment on a number of other ideas – some to restrict the definition of the Designated Entities that… Continue Reading

FCC Takes Actions to Increase Diversity in Broadcast Ownership

Posted in Advertising Issues, EEO Compliance/Diversity, Multiple Ownership Rules
At its December meeting, at the same time as it adopted rules relaxing the newspaper-broadcast cross-ownership rules, the FCC adopted new rules to expand diversity in the ownership of broadcast stations, encouraging new entrants into such ownership.  The full text of that decision was just released last week, providing a number of specific rule changes… Continue Reading

The Trouble With LPTV – No Plan for DTV Transition

Posted in Digital Television, Low Power Television/Class A TV
In recent weeks, Low Power Television stations have been the center of attention in Washington in connection with the Digital television transition.  While all full-power television stations are set to convert to digital operations less than a year from now, ceasing analog operations at the end of the day on February 17, 2009, there is… Continue Reading

FCC Issues Text of Its Multiple Ownership Decision – New Combinations for Newspapers and TV, No Ownership Changes for Radio

Posted in Multiple Ownership Rules
The FCC this week released the full text of its decision on the revision of the multiple ownership rules that it adopted at its December 18 meeting.  While the text goes into great detail on the decision to relax the newspaper-television cross ownership restrictions (causing the ruling to be condemned by consolidation critics), the order is very brief… Continue Reading

FCC Adopts Localism Report and Starts Rulemaking to Consider Adopting New Public Interest Obligations for Broadcasters

Posted in Payola and Sponsorship Identification, Programming Regulations, Public Interest Obligations/Localism
The FCC today adopted a Report on its Localism proceeding, accessing the evidence that it gathered in its three year long investigation of whether broadcasters were adequately serving the interests of their local communities.  We wrote long ago about some of the specific issues that the FCC was reviewing in this proceeding – everything from the… Continue Reading