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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

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

FCC Could Decide Soon Whether Pandora Can Exceed Foreign Ownership Limit

Posted in Broadcast Regulation, Foreign Ownership

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is poised to decide whether Internet streaming music provider Pandora can exceed the Commission’s foreign ownership limit in its acquisition of a South Dakota radio station.  As we previously wrote, in June 2014, Pandora filed a Petition for Declaratory Ruling requesting authority to exceed the 25% benchmark for foreign investment… Continue Reading

Does FCC Repeal of Sports Blackout Rules Flag Trouble Ahead For Retrans Policy?

Posted in Broadcast Regulation, Copyright, MVPD Regulation

The FCC has retired its sports blackout rules.  At its September 30, 2014 meeting, the FCC unanimously adopted an Order repealing the rules, which prohibit cable and satellite providers from carrying a sports event that is blacked out on a local broadcast station.  The rules are most often associated with the National Football League, which… Continue Reading

MVPD Faces $2.25 Million Forfeiture For Retransmitting Broadcast Stations Without Obtaining Consent

Posted in Broadcast Regulation, MVPD Regulation

The FCC has issued a $2.25 million forfeiture against Houston multichannel video programming distributor (MVPD) TV Max and its affiliates for continuing to retransmit six broadcast television stations after their agreements had expired.  The Forfeiture Order follows a June 2013 Notice of Apparent Liability, in which the Commission proposed the forfeiture. Prior to January 1,… Continue Reading

FCC to Consider Changes to Sports Blackout Rule

Posted in Broadcast Regulation, MVPD Regulation

In the final hours of her final workday as Acting FCC Chairwoman, Mignon Clyburn announced that she has circulated a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) proposing to eliminate the long-standing sports blackout rules.  First adopted in 1975, the sports blackout rules prevent a cable operator from providing the live sporting event from a distant station… Continue Reading