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Effective January 22, 2019: FCC’s Elimination of Paper Contract Filing Obligation for Broadcasters

Posted in Broadcast Regulation, Ownership Rules

On January 22, 2019, the FCC’s Order eliminating broadcasters’ obligation to file paper copies of contracts pursuant to Section 73.3613 of the Commission’s rules will go into effect. Covered contracts include those related to network affiliations, control of station licenses, certain employment agreements, joint sales agreements (“JSAs”), and local marketing agreements (“LMAs”) (collectively, “Section 73.3613… Continue Reading

FCC To Commence 2018 Quadrennial Review At December Open Meeting

Posted in Broadcast Attribution, Ownership Rules

The Federal Communications Commission has released the draft meeting agenda for its December 2018 open meeting, which includes a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) commencing the 2018 quadrennial review of certain of the agency’s broadcast ownership rules. This review will be the latest in a series conducted pursuant to the Telecommunications Act of 1996, which… Continue Reading

FCC Sets October 12, 2018 Deadline for Registration of United States-Based Foreign Media Outlets

Posted in Broadcast Regulation, Foreign Ownership

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has released a public notice setting October 12, 2018 as the initial deadline for “United States-based foreign media outlets” to file reports with the FCC. The reports are required pursuant to the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019 (NDAA) and must contain certain specified information.… Continue Reading

FCC Seeks Comment on Key TCPA Issues

Posted in Broadcast Regulation, Broadcast Technology, Telephone Consumer Protection Act

The Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or “Commission”) has taken its first step in addressing several key issues under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) that were raised by the recent D.C. Circuit decision that resolved an appeal of the Commission’s 2015 Omnibus TCPA Order. Specifically, the D.C. Circuit’s March decision in ACA International v. FCC… Continue Reading

FCC Seeks Comment on Proposal to Streamline Assignment/Transfer of TV Satellite Stations

Posted in Broadcast Attribution, Broadcast Regulation

UPDATE 4/12/2018:  Comments are due on May 11, 2018 and reply comments are due on May 29, 2018. The FCC wants to know whether and how it should revise the process for applying to assign or transfer control of a television satellite station. Television satellite stations are full power television stations that retransmit some or… Continue Reading

Comment Dates Set on FCC Proposal to Eliminate Paper Contract Filing Requirement for Broadcasters

Posted in Broadcast Regulation

In another proceeding initiated as part of its effort to modernize the rules that apply to broadcasters, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is seeking comment on whether and how to update the requirement that licensees file paper copies of certain contracts and other documents with the agency within 30 days of their execution. As a… Continue Reading

FCC Media Ownership Rule Changes Effective February 7, 2018; Comments Due March 9, 2018 on Proposals to Increase Broadcast Ownership Diversity

Posted in Broadcast Attribution, Broadcast Regulation, Ownership Rules

The FCC’s Order on Reconsideration (Order) adopting sweeping changes to the media ownership rules has been published in the Federal Register. This establishes February 7, 2018 as the effective date for all but one of the rule changes adopted in the Order. As previously explained, the Order (i) eliminates the 42-year-old newspaper/broadcast cross-ownership rule; (ii)… Continue Reading

Comments Due December 29 on Proposals to Modernize Broadcast Ancillary/Supplementary Services Reporting and Local Public Notice Requirements

Posted in Broadcast Regulation

The FCC’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) seeking comment on whether to modernize the requirements that broadcasters report annually on their provision of digital television (DTV) ancillary or supplementary services and provide local public notice of the filing of certain applications has been published in the Federal Register. As the FCC has announced, this sets… Continue Reading

D.C. Circuit Upholds FCC Decision Not to Require Multilingual Emergency Alerts, Highlighting November 6, 2017 Deadline to Report on Efforts to Serve Non-English Speakers

Posted in Broadcast Regulation

This week, the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit affirmed an FCC order issued in March 2016 that declined to require emergency alerts in languages other than English. In a 2-1 decision, the Court found the agency’s determination to be consistent with the Communications Act and reasonable, and thus denied the petition… Continue Reading

FTC Sends (Another) Warning That Endorsers Must Disclose Connections to Products, Brands, or Services in Any Form of Media

Posted in Advertising Issues, Broadcast Regulation, Contests

When thinking about the regulations they must comply with, most broadcasters focus primarily, if not exclusively, upon the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). But there is at least one other federal agency that deserves attention, and that is the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). This is particularly true when endorsements, contests, and other marketing activities are in… 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 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

FTC Workshop Shines Additional Light on Need for Effective Disclosures

Posted in Advertising Issues, Program Content

At a recent Federal Trade Commission (FTC) workshop, the focus was squarely on how advertisers and marketers should ensure the effectiveness of consumer disclosures, particularly on new digital platforms. Terming the topic one of “exceptional importance” that has been under study for more than one hundred years, FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez opened the workshop by… 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

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 to Demonstrate New Online Public File Interface on June 13, 2016; New Rules Effective June 24, 2016

Posted in Broadcast Regulation, Political Broadcasting

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has announced that it will hold a public demonstration of the expanded Online Public Inspection File (OPIF), which will replace the current Broadcast Public Inspection File (BPIF) and which television and radio stations, cable systems, and satellite television and radio systems will be required to use for their online public files. … Continue Reading

Third Circuit Vacates Joint Sales Agreement Attribution Rule, Expresses Displeasure Regarding FCC Delay in Concluding Quadrennial Reviews, and Orders Mediation Regarding an Eligible Entity Definition

Posted in Broadcast Attribution, Broadcast Regulation, Transactions

In what will no doubt become quickly known as Prometheus III, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has issued its opinion reviewing the latest of the Federal Communications Commission’s (“FCC’s”) decisions (or lack of decisions) in the Quadrennial Review of its media ownership rules pursuant to Section 202(h) of the Telecommunications… Continue Reading

New FCC Online Public File Requirements Approved by OMB; Effective Date Coming Soon

Posted in Broadcast Regulation

This morning, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approved the FCC’s new online public file requirements for radio stations, cable systems, DBS operators, and SDARS operators.  The rules are not yet effective, but will become effective on a rolling basis on the schedule below after an approval notice is published in the Federal Register. … 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

Broadcasters’ Media Ownership Challenge Heading Back to Third Circuit

Posted in Broadcast Attribution, Broadcast Regulation

Broadcasters challenging the FCC’s 2010 quadrennial media ownership order (or lack thereof) are now facing their third time presenting arguments before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.  Just over a week before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit was scheduled to hear oral arguments in the case known as… Continue Reading