FCC Issues Advisory on Placing Time Brokerage Agreements in Your Public File

Last week the FCC advised stations to make sure their public files are up to date.  Specifically with respect to time brokerage agreements the FCC’s Media Bureau stated:

“As the broadcast license renewal cycle moves forward, the Media Bureau (Bureau) of the Federal Communications Commission (Commission or FCC) reminds commercial broadcast licensees of their obligation to ensure that every “sharing” agreement pertaining to the operation of the station whether involving the lease of airtime, the joint sale of advertising, or the sharing of operational services, is retained in their Online Public Inspection Files (OPIF).  For example, if a station agrees to lease broadcast time to a third party, a copy of this agreement must be placed in OPIF within 30 days.”

The Commissions advisory noted that the purpose of the agreement, not the title of the agreement is what it important.

“We emphasize to licensees that these requirements apply based on the substance of an agreement, rather than the agreement’s title.  Regardless of how an agreement is styled or labeled, if it covers the provision of programming time, sale of advertising, or provision of services among commercial broadcast stations, it must be retained in the station’s OPIF even if it is not specifically identified as a “Time Brokerage Agreement,” “Local Marketing Agreement,” “Joint Sales Agreement,” or “Shared Services Agreement.”

To see the complete FCC advisory click HERE.


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