FCC To Open Proceeding on Radio and TV Ownership at December Meeting

The FCC has announced that it will begin a proceeding looking at radio and TV ownership rules. The FCC is required by law to review its ownership rules every four years.  This is just the beginning of what undoubtedly will be a very long process.  The so-called “quadrennial review” will seek public comment on:

Local Radio Ownership Rule

  • Whether the Local Radio Ownership Rule continues to promote competition, localism, and viewpoint diversity in today’s radio marketplace.
  • Modifications to the rule’s operation, including the relevant product market, market size tiers, numerical limits, and AM/FM subcaps.
  • Whether to make permanent the interim contour-overlap methodology used to determine ownership limits in areas outside Nielsen Audio Metro markets and on how to treat transactions involving markets embedded within a larger Nielsen Audio Metro market.

TV Ownership Rules

  • Whether the Local Television Ownership Rule – which limits a single entity from owning two television stations in the same market except under certain circumstances – continues to serve the public interest.
  • Modifications to the rule’s operation, including the relevant product market; the numerical limit; the top-four prohibition; and the implications of multicasting, satellite stations, low power stations, and the next generation transmission standard.

Dual Network Rule

  • Whether the rule, which prohibits a merger between or among the Big Four broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC), remains necessary to promote competition, localism, or viewpoint diversity.

 Diversity-Related Proposals

  • Whether any of the following proposals raised in prior quadrennial proceedings as relevant to diversity: (1) extending cable procurement-type requirements to broadcasters; (2) adopting formulas aimed at creating media ownership limits that promote diversity; and (3) developing a model for market-based, tradeable “diversity credits” to serve as an alternative method for setting ownership limits

To see the proposed Quadrennial Review document click HERE.

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