Archive for the ‘FCC’ Category

“Where seldom is heard a discouraging word?” Supreme Court Allows the canada viagra Federal Registration of Disparaging Trademarks

The U.S. Supreme Court has invalidated the statutory bar against the federal registration of disparaging trademarks, on the ground that it violates the First Amendment and discount site viagra is unconstitutional. What does this mean for businesses in general, including, in particular, broadcasters and the Washington DC National Football League franchise? History of the Case The case involved an application by Simon Tam to register the mark THE SLANTS for an Asian-American band. Mr

Modernization of Media Regulation – What Rule Changes Should Broadcasters be Requesting?

It is not every year that the FCC seriously asks broadcasters for suggestions as to what rules it should abolish or modify, but that is exactly what the FCC is doing in its Modernization of Media Regulation proceeding (about which we wrote here and here ). Comments due the week after next, on July 5, and broadcasters should accept the invitation and suggest rules that are ripe for repeal or amendment.

Almost 80 Radio Stations Hit With New FCC EEO Audit Letter

While the FCC in April made broadcaster’s compliance with the FCC’s EEO rules easier by allowing the wide dissemination of information about job openings through online sources (see our article here ), there still remain significant obligations under those rules (see our article here ). The FCC made that clear on Friday, releasing a Public Notice announcing its second EEO audit letter of 2017 for about 80 radio broadcasters, all west of the Mississippi . The FCC’s public notice announcing the commencement of the audit includes the audit letter that was sent to all of the targeted stations.  The list of about 80 radio stations subject to the audit is here . Responses are due July 27, 2017 . As employment information for all stations within a named station’s “employment unit” must be provided in response to the audit, the reach of this notice goes beyond the 80 stations named in the audit notices

Court Rejects Stay on FCC’s Reinstatement of UHF Discount – Does it Mean TV Ownership Consolidation is in the Clear?

Yesterday, in a very short one page decision, the US Court of Appeals rejected the requests filed by public interest groups to stay the effect of the FCC’s decision to reinstate the UHF discount (see our article here about some of the issues involved in this stay request, and our article here about the reinstatement of the UHF discount by the current FCC). For the foreseeable future, this decision will free many broadcast television groups to acquire more television stations as UHF stations (which most TV stations now are) count for only half their audience reach in assessing compliance with the 39% limit on the national audience share that any TV owner can have. While, contrary to some press reports, this does not signal the Court’s final approval of the FCC’s decision to reinstate the discount, it does suggest the direction which the Court is likely to take in its assessment of this Commission decision.

FCC Announces Potential Solutions for LPTV Stations that are Displaced Before Getting the Opportunity to File for a New Channel

The FCC in a Public Notice released yesterday recognized that some LPTV stations and TV translators may get bumped from their current channels even before full power stations start their transition to new channels to repack the TV band to make parts of it available for wireless Internet operations. The FCC has established windows for the repacking of full-power TV stations where, over a 39 month period, stations that currently operate on Channels 38 and above will be repacked into a smaller TV band under channel 37. LPTV stations are not part of that phased repacking, but instead will have the opportunity to file for displacement channels at some point, probably early next year, if they currently operate on channels 30 or above, or if repacked full-power stations in what will be the core TV band displace the LPTV or translator from their current channel (see our article on that displacement filing window here ). The problem for these secondary stations is that the FCC yesterday announced the grant of construction authorizations for several wireless licensees who bought the cleared TV spectrum. Those wireless companies are free to start testing and operating on portions of the TV band that don’t currently house full-power stations at any time, and some have indicated interest in commencing testing and operations in the very near future.

KWVA Customizes Workflow to Fit Students’ Needs

The college station broadcasts from the University of Oregon campus in Eugene

Crown Castle, ATC Focus on Different Tacks Outside Macrocell Biz

Crown Castle has some 25,000 small cells in its deployment pipeline, estimates it wins roughly half of the contracts for which it competes in its current markets

FCC Reminds Repacked TV Stations of Upcoming June and July Deadlines

The incentive auction, where the FCC agreed to buy the spectrum of numerous TV stations so that they could repackage that spectrum and cheap generic viagra sell it to wireless users, ended with the FCC’s Closing Notice released in April. But, in order to clear contiguous blocks of spectrum for the wireless companies who bought spectrum in the auction, the FCC not only had to buy the spectrum rights of a number of TV stations, but they also had to repack the remaining TV stations into a smaller TV band. Dates are coming up when the stations that were repacked will need to give the FCC notice as to their plans to construct, and also their expected expenses in constructing so that they can get reimbursement from the FCC for the costs that the incur. Yesterday, the FCC issued a Public Notice to remind stations that are being repacked as to some of the upcoming deadlines in this repacking process. The FCC reminded stations (and MVPDs, who can also seek reimbursement for the costs that they incur as a result of the repacking) of the following post-auction filing deadlines: June 12, 2017: Reassigned TV stations (and stations changing bands as a result of their auction bids, e.g.

FCC Releases Instructions for Window for AM Stations to File for FM Translators and Announces Translator Filing Freeze – Pay Attention to the…

Late yesterday, the FCC released the Public Notice setting out the instructions for the upcoming window for Class C and D AM stations to file for new FM translators. The window will be open for the submission of applications from July 26 to August 2 – and mutually exclusive applications filed during that window will be resolved by an auction if they cannot be resolved by settlements or engineering solutions. This is a very complicated Public Notice, as the FCC is treating these applications as those filed in preparation for an auction

Radio Owner Forfeits Several FCC Licenses for Being Silent For Prolonged Periods of Time – Warning to Broadcasters for Next License Renewal Cycle

Last week, the FCC issued a consent decree entered into with a broadcaster who is the licensee of multiple radio stations, many of which were silent for long periods during the last license renewal cycle . As part of the deal, in order to get renewals for 12 stations granted, the licensee agreed to either surrender the licenses for 9 other stations or to donate them to nonprofit groups. Even the licenses that were renewed were done so only for a short-term (one-year), so the FCC could monitor whether these stations were going to be operated in compliance with the FCC’s minimum operating rules. We have written about cases where the FCC has penalized stations who sought the renewal of the licenses of stations that had prolonged periods of silence during the prior license renewal term (see, for instance, our articles here and here ). This case provides much more detail as to the FCC’s thinking in these cases, and provides a warning to broadcasters who might take their stations silent for extended periods that they may not be able to justify to the FCC that they have served the public interest sufficiently to merit the next renewal of their license.

Court Issues an Administrative Stay on Effective Date of Reinstatement of UHF Discount While It Considers Arguments as to Whether to Put the Discount…

When the FCC last month reinstated the UHF discount (see our article here ), it opened the door to ownership consolidation in the television industry, and immediately deals were announced based on the discount being back in place. But public interest groups in DC, fearing too much consolidation, asked the FCC to stay the effect of the rules. When the FCC did not act, the public interest groups last week asked the US Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia for a stay to put the rules on hold. In response, the Court order expedited briefing on the stay request, with the FCC filing its brief Thursday ( here ) and the public interest groups scheduled to file their brief today. Then late yesterday, the Court issued what it termed an “administrative stay” – temporarily putting the rules on hold while it considers the briefs filed by the parties.

Comments on FCC Proposal to Abolish Broadcast Main Studio Rule Due July 3

In today’s Federal Register, the FCC has given notice of its proposal to abolish the main studio rule .  That notice, here , sets the date for comments on this proposal as July 3 .  Reply comments are due two weeks later on July 17 .  We wrote about the FCC’s proposal and the questions being asked in this proceeding here and here .  So, if you are interested in expressing your views on this significant deregulatory move by the FCC, file your comments by July 3.

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