NYSBA Opposes FCC Regulatory Fee Increase

Last week, NYSBA, along with the other state broadcast associations, filed an opposition with the FCC regarding its proposed increase in regulatory fees. Once again, we indicated that the proposed fee increase places an unfair burden on broadcasters. The filing notes:

“However, a review of the fee amounts the FCC expects to charge broadcast payors this year reveals a fee increase for broadcasters of between 13% and 14% over their FY2021 fee amounts – an increase that is approximately six times greater than the increase in the FCC’s budget overall. In absolute numbers, the FCC’s FY2022 budget increase over FY2021 totals $7,950,000. Incredibly, based on the huge increases proposed for broadcast payors this year, the FCC proposes to raise $7,315,888 more from broadcasters in FY2022 than in FY2021 – an amount almost equal to the entire increase in the FCC’s budget this year.”

To be more specific, the increase makes no sense given the FCC’s proposed increase in overall costs:

“Since broadcasters account for less than half of the Media Bureau’s fee requirement, one might expect any addition to broadcaster fees over FY2021 to total no more than $1,040,505 (45.9% of $2,268,000) for these direct costs. Instead, as noted above, the proposed increase for broadcaster regulatory fees is $7,315,881, more than seven times higher. Stated differently, instead of a 2.13% increase that would be consistent with the overall year-to-year increase in the FCC’s total budget, or the greater 4 to 5% increase the Crosswalk suggests should be expected (whether justified or not), broadcasters are facing a whopping 13+% increase over FY2021 fee amounts without any explanation, rational or otherwise.”

NYSBA will continue to fight for a more rational approach to assessing broadcast fees. If implemented, the new fees will be due in September 2022.

Our FCC filing opposing new regulatory fees can be found here.