WileyonMedia

Category Archives: Broadcast Regulation

Subscribe to Broadcast Regulation RSS Feed

FCC Public Notice Asks What Media Regulations to Eliminate

Posted in Broadcast Regulation, MVPD Regulation
On May 18, 2017, the Federal Communications Commission adopted a Public Notice initiating a review of its rules applicable to television and radio broadcasters, cable operators, and satellite television providers. The stated purpose of the review is “to eliminate or modify regulations that are outdated, unnecessary or unduly burdensome.” In addition to seeking comment on… Continue Reading

FCC Proposes Elimination of Broadcast Main Studio Rule

Posted in Broadcast Regulation
Update 6/2/2017: Based on today’s publication in the Federal Register, comments are due on July 3, with reply comments due July 17. On May 18, 2017, the Federal Communications Commission adopted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in which it proposed to eliminate the main studio rule for all services (including the associated minimum staffing… Continue Reading

FCC Releases Orders Eliminating FRN/RUFRN Requirement for NCEs and Allowing NCEs More Flexibility to Conduct Third Party Fundraising

Posted in Broadcast Regulation
On April 20, 2017, the Federal Communications Commission released the final text of two items adopted at the Commission’s April Open Meeting that reduce regulatory burdens on noncommercial educational (NCE) broadcasters. The first item is an Order on Reconsideration (Recon Order) that allows NCE filers to utilize so-called “Special Use” FRNs (SUFRNs) when filling out… Continue Reading

FCC Chairman Proposes to Eliminate the Main Studio Rule . . . And Possibly More

Posted in Broadcast Regulation
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai formally unveiled two proposals on Thursday to remove outdated broadcast regulations.  First, the Commission released a draft Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that would eliminate the main studio rule for all services (including the associated minimum staffing requirements).  Second, the Commission released a draft Public Notice seeking comment on media-related rules to modify… Continue Reading

Now Effective – The FCC’s Streamlined Broadcast Foreign Ownership Rules and New Rules Governing Foreign Ownership Compliance

Posted in Broadcast Regulation, Foreign Ownership, Transactions
With the publication of an announcement in the Federal Register on April 20, 2017, the FCC’s new foreign ownership rules, originally adopted on September 30, 2016, are now finally effective. The FCC’s September 2016 order made two significant changes to the agency’s foreign ownership rules. First, the new rules contain “streamlined” procedures that broadcasters must… Continue Reading

FCC Releases Draft Orders that Would Eliminate FRN/RUFRN Requirement for NCEs and Allow NCEs More Flexibility to Conduct Third Party Fundraising

Posted in Broadcast Attribution, Broadcast Regulation
On March 30, 2017, the FCC or Commission released two draft items that, if adopted at the Commission’s April Open Meeting, would reduce regulatory burdens on noncommercial educational (NCE) broadcasters. FCC Form 323-E and Permissive Use of SUFRNs The first item is a draft Order on Reconsideration (Draft Recon Order) that would roll-back a requirement… Continue Reading

FCC Grants First Petition for Declaratory Ruling Allowing 100% Foreign Ownership of Broadcast Station Licensees

Posted in Broadcast Regulation, Foreign Ownership, Transactions
The Media Bureau of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has released the first-ever decision permitting foreign citizens to own 100% of broadcast station licensees. In the declaratory ruling, the FCC authorized two Australian citizens each to own 50% of Frontier Media, LLC, the parent company of broadcast licensees owning seven AM radio stations, eight FM radio… Continue Reading

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

Commission Releases Circulation Version of ATSC 3.0 NPRM

Posted in Broadcast Regulation, Broadcast Technology
On February 2, 2017, the Federal Communications Commission released the proposed text of a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (Circulation NPRM) in the Next Gen TV (a/k/a ATSC 3.0) proceeding in which the agency proposes to authorize television broadcasters to use the Next Gen TV transmission standard on a voluntary, market-driven basis, while continuing to deliver… Continue Reading

AM Revitalization Second Report and Order Would Relax Siting Rules for FM Translators

Posted in Broadcast Regulation
Yesterday, the FCC released the proposed text for the Second Report and Order in the Revitalization of the AM Radio Service proceeding. This text was released at the same time that it is being circulated to commissioners, as part of new Chairman Pai’s pilot program to increase transparency at the Commission. The proposed Second Report and… Continue Reading

Chairman Pai Attempts to Deliver on Transparency Promise

Posted in Broadcast Regulation
New FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has announced a pilot program designed to provide more transparency at the Commission.  Under the pilot program, the Commission will release the text of agenda items that will be voted on at upcoming Commission meetings “well in advance” of the meeting.  This is a shift from the current practice, where… Continue Reading

Wiley Rein Encourages FCC to Ease Anti-Collusion Rules

Posted in Broadcast Regulation
This morning, on behalf of Wiley Rein, I filed a letter encouraging the FCC to issue a formal declaration that, with the final stage rule satisfied, no communications by broadcasters about the reverse auction can violate the Commission’s prohibition on certain auction-related communications.  The Incentive Auction has handcuffed the broadcast television industry in many respects… Continue Reading

FCC Commissioners Pai and O’Rielly Rebuke NCE FRN Decision

Posted in Broadcast Regulation
On January 4, 2017, the FCC’s two Republican Commissioners, Ajit Pai and Michael O’Rielly, issued a scathing statement against the Media Bureau’s decision, issued that same day, to deny petitions for reconsideration regarding FCC Registration Number (FRN) reporting requirements for non-commercial educational (NCE) broadcasters. Those requirements, imposed in January 2016 (the 2016 Order), oblige board… 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 Suspends Biennial Ownership Reports for NCE Stations with February 1, April 1, June 1, August 1, or October 1 Filing Deadlines

Posted in Broadcast Regulation
The FCC has suspended the existing 2017 filing deadlines for non-commercial educational (NCE) stations’ biennial ownership reports. As a result, NCE licensees with biennial report filing deadlines on February 1, April 1, June 1, August 1, or October 1, 2017 are not required to file the existing form 323-E by those deadlines. Instead, NCE licensees will… 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 Considers Prohibiting Unconditional MFNs and Unreasonable ADMs

Posted in Broadcast Regulation, MVPD Regulation
At its September 29, 2016 open meeting, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) adopted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in which it proposes rules prohibiting “certain practices some multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs) use in their negotiations for carriage of video programming” that the Commission believes “may impede competition, diversity, and innovation in… 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