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Ari Meltzer

Ari Meltzer

Ari Meltzer counsels clients on a variety of regulatory, transactional, government affairs, and litigation matters. He has particular experience advising businesses in the broadcast, cable, newspaper, and telecommunications industries regarding FCC, copyright, and trademark issues.

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What to Expect When You’re Expecting (to be repacked)

Posted in Broadcast Regulation, Spectrum
The FCC’s confidential letters to television stations that did not submit successful bids to relinquish their spectrum in the reverse auction could arrive in broadcaster mailboxes any day now.  For some stations, this letter will confirm that it’s business as usual, and that they will continue to operate on the same channel after the auction.… Continue Reading

So Your Station Submitted a Successful Incentive Auction Bid, Now What?

Posted in Broadcast Regulation, Spectrum
Now that television stations can openly discuss the results of their participation in the Incentive Auction, it is an appropriate time for all television stations to assess their market position and think about what comes next.  In this space, we will discuss how stations with various auction outcomes should approach their post-auction transaction.  Today, we… Continue Reading

FCC Review of 2016 EAS Test Identifies Improvements, Opportunities

Posted in Broadcast Regulation
The FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau has released its initial findings from the 2016 nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System, which reflect improvements from the 2011 test but further opportunities to strengthen the EAS. On September 28, 2016, FEMA, the Commission, and the National Weather Service, conducted a nationwide test to assess… Continue Reading

FCC ALJ: Cost Savings Alone Not Enough to Justify Discriminatory Treatment of Non-Affiliated Networks

Posted in MVPD Regulation
The FCC’s administrative law judge (“ALJ”) has once again sided with a programmer in resolving a complaint under the Commission’s program carriage rules.  More than five years after GSN filed a program carriage complaint against Cablevision, ALJ Richard Sippel issued an initial decision finding that Cablevision improperly discriminated against GSN on the basis of its… Continue Reading

FCC Seeks Comment on Updated Catalog of Post-Auction Reimbursement Expenses

Posted in Broadcast Regulation, Spectrum
On October 13, 2016, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)’s Media Bureau released an update to the Catalog of Eligible Expenses (the “Catalog”) that it will use as a guide when processing requests for reimbursement from the TV Broadcaster Relocation Fund.  Comments on the proposed updates are due by November 14, 2016 and reply comments are due… Continue Reading

FCC Invites Broadcasters to Test Repack Reimbursement System

Posted in Broadcast Regulation
The FCC is providing broadcasters with an opportunity to test and provide feedback on the Incentive Auction Broadcaster Relocation Reimbursement System, which is the online form that the Commission will use to collect requests for reimbursement of repacking expenses (technically known as FCC Form 2100, Schedule 399). Beginning on October 4, 2016, broadcasters can access a test… Continue Reading

FCC Meeting Update: Foreign Investment Rules and Independent Programming Proposal, But No Set Top Box Rules

Posted in Broadcast Regulation, MVPD Regulation
At its September 29, 2016 open meeting, the FCC adopted rules to make it easier for broadcasters to seek approval for foreign ownership, reformed the methodology for publicly traded broadcasters and common carriers to assess compliance with the statutory foreign ownership limits, and proposed rules it believes will strengthen the position of independent programmers in negotiations with… Continue Reading

The Silver Lining in the FCC’s UHF Discount Order

Posted in Broadcast Regulation
On Wednesday, the FCC issued a long-expected Order abolishing its 30-year policy of applying a “UHF Discount” when calculating a broadcaster’s compliance with the 39% National TV Ownership Cap.  At the same time, the Commission refused to adopt a “VHF Discount” in recognition of the technical inferiority of VHF channels following the digital transition.  The… Continue Reading

FCC Bids Adieu to UHF Discount

Posted in Broadcast Regulation
They say all good things must come to an end, and for the FCC’s UHF discount, the end has arrived (pending the outcome of near-certain litigation).  Earlier today, the FCC issued a Report and Order eliminating its 30-year old policy of applying a 50% “discount” to market populations served by UHF stations when calculating compliance with the… Continue Reading

Join Us for Destination Repack: A Multi Industry Roadmap

Posted in Broadcast Regulation, Broadcast Technology, Spectrum
On October 19, 2016, Wiley Rein’s Telecom, Media & Technology Practice will be partnering with The Association of Federal Communications Consulting Engineers (AFCCE) to host an educational program on the challenges faced by broadcasters post the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Spectrum Auction. Join us to discuss approaches to the post-auction repacking process, including: ◾Repack 101: Defining… Continue Reading

Incentive Auction Update: Onward to Stage 2

Posted in Spectrum
The FCC has declared the end of Stage 1 of the Incentive Auction, with total forward auction revenues of $23.1 billion. According to the Public Reporting System: “Bidding in the forward auction has concluded for Stage 1 without meeting the final stage rule and without meeting the conditions to trigger an extended round. The incentive… Continue Reading

FCC Announces Dates for Mandatory National EAS Test

Posted in Broadcast Regulation, MVPD Regulation
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission)’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau has announced that the next nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) will take place on September 28, 2016, at 2:20 PM EDT, with a secondary test date of October 5, 2016, if necessary. According to the FCC’s public notice: The… Continue Reading

Upon Review, No Changes to “Totality of the Circumstances” Test for Retransmission Consent

Posted in Broadcast Regulation, MVPD Regulation
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler announced in a blog post today that the Commission will not be modifying its rules implementing the good faith requirement for retransmission consent negotiations. Under Section 325 of the Communications Act, a multichannel video programming distributor may not retransmit a broadcast television signal without the broadcaster’s consent.  The statute requires broadcasters… Continue Reading

The $88.4 Billion Question – What’s Next in the Incentive Auction?

Posted in Broadcast Regulation, Spectrum
The FCC has announced that the total clearing cost for the reverse auction (the aggregate of provisionally winning bids) is $86,422,558,704. Under the final stage rule, the proceeds from the forward auction (net of bidding credits and impairment discounts) must be sufficient to cover incentive auction costs, which include: (1) the aggregate of broadcaster clearing… Continue Reading

FCC Chairman Wheeler Circulates Proposed Media Ownership Rules

Posted in Broadcast Attribution, Broadcast Regulation
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has circulated to his fellow Commissioners a proposed final rule in the 2010/2014 Quadrennial Media Ownership proceeding.  Based on an FCC fact sheet summarizing Chairman Wheeler’s proposal, the new rules would largely keep the existing media ownership regulations in place.  Although the proposed changes are few, some could be significant to… Continue Reading

FCC Turns Up Pace of Reverse Auction

Posted in Spectrum
Beginning Monday, June 13, 2016, the FCC will conduct three rounds of the reverse auction per day, up from the current pace of two rounds per day.  Starting with round 17, Rounds will occur from 10:00 am ET – 11:00 am ET, 1:00 pm ET – 2:00 pm ET, and 4:00 pm ET – 5:00 pm… Continue Reading

FCC to Reimburse Repacking Expenses Incurred Before Auction Close — But With a Catch

Posted in Broadcast Regulation, Broadcast Technology
The FCC has some good news for broadcasters that want to get a jump on the repacking process.  In a Declaratory Ruling issued today, the Commission announced that “costs reasonably incurred” by broadcasters prior to the close of the Incentive Auction and the issuance of the Channel Reassignment Public Notice may be eligible for reimbursement… Continue Reading

Five Things Television Broadcasters Should Know About ATSC 3.0

Posted in Broadcast Regulation, Broadcast Technology
UPDATE (4/27/16):  The FCC has solicited comments on the Petition for Rulemaking.  Comments are due by May 26, 2016 and reply comments are due by June 27, 2016. There is a lot of buzz in the broadcast industry about ATSC 3.0.  Yesterday, a coalition of groups representing broadcasters and equipment manufacturers took an important step… Continue Reading

FCC Rejects Petition to Expand Multilingual EAS; Imposes New Reporting Requirement for EAS Participants

Posted in Broadcast Regulation
The FCC has rejected a petition by a group of organizations seeking to make emergency information more accessible to non-English speakers. In an Order released on March 30, 2016, the Commission declared that it “support[s] the general goal of making emergency alert content distributed over the Emergency Alert System (EAS) more accessible to persons whose primary… Continue Reading

Proposed Changes to Emergency Alert System Could Impose New Burdens on Broadcasters, MVPDs, and Wireless Providers

Posted in Broadcast Regulation, Broadcast Technology
On March 24, 2016, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) published in the Federal Register a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) seeking comment on a number of proposed changes to the infrastructure and rules supporting the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and the Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA).  Although many of the proposed changes relate to… Continue Reading

With the “Big Game” Approaching, Stations Should Be Careful About Use of Trademarks in Their Broadcasts and Promotions

Posted in Advertising Issues, Contests, Trademark
With the “Big Game” Approaching, Stations Should Be Careful About Use of Trademarks in Their Broadcasts and Promotions// When the National Football League (NFL) holds Super Bowl 50 in San Francisco on February 7, 2016, it will use Arabic numerals for the first time. Even without the characteristic Roman numerals, the term “Super Bowl” remains… Continue Reading