Archives: Broadcast

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FCC to TV Licensees: Where Are You?

In a somewhat unusual move, the FCC’s Media Bureau and Incentive Auction Task Force have issued a joint public notice encouraging “all television licensees” to “ensure that their contact information on file with the Commission is accurate and current”. As the notice reminds everybody, licensees are generally required to do so anyway, but it’s especially … Continue Reading

Repack Update: FCC Invites Comments on Widelity II

Input sought on revised catalog of likely repack expenses As we all know, TV stations forced by the Incentive Auction/spectrum repack process to modify their facilities will be entitled to reimbursement of their reasonable repacking-related costs. And as we reported a couple of years ago, to give everybody – FCC and affected broadcasters (and MVPDs) … Continue Reading

DIRS Activated as Hurricane Matthew Approaches Southeast States

As we had anticipated, the Commission has officially activated its Disaster Information Reporting System (DIRS) in connection with the arrival of Hurricane Matthew. Because of the urgency of the situation, the FCC has asked the NAB to get the word out to broadcast stations, and we here in the CommLawBlog bunker are more than happy … Continue Reading

Coming Soon: Webinar on FCC’s Post-Incentive Auction Transition Scheduling Plan

On September 30 the Commission released a public notice soliciting comment on a plan for the post-Incentive Auction transition. As you might expect, the plan is complicated and dense with detail – we here in the CommLawBlog are still working our way through it – but the FCC’s initial plan is to get the public’s … Continue Reading

As Matthew Makes Its Move, FCC Provides Emergency Response Information

With Matthew, the first big hurricane to threaten Florida and the Carolinas in several years, barreling up the coast, the FCC has started its anticipatory disaster response. A public notice released this afternoon alerts the public that Commission personnel will be available, 24/7, to assist communications providers as they deal with the effects of the storm. … Continue Reading

Six-Figure Fine for Failing to Focus on Former Felonies

Many FCC forms completed on a “routine” basis may need extra attention. Anyone who fills in pretty much any FCC form should be familiar with the certifications required by those forms. Anyone who “signs” an FCC form (whether electronically or otherwise) must be familiar with them; more importantly, the signatory must be sure that the … Continue Reading

ASNE “Legal Hotline” Features FHH’s Kevin Goldberg

News Editors’ website highlights post addressing permissible media use of “user-generated” photo/video content obtained from social media and other Internet sources. I’m fortunate to represent a number of press-related trade associations. As part of my work for them, I provide a “Legal Hotline” service through which association members get to ask me questions without incurring massive … Continue Reading

2016 Reg Fees Set, But Payment Deadline Yet to be Announced

On the Friday before Labor Day weekend, the Commission released the final listing of regulatory fees for 2016. Those fees will have to be paid sometime before September 30, but as of September 4, the Commission had neither announced the deadline nor opened up its Fee Filer system for acceptance of reg fees. Maybe the … Continue Reading

Sisyphus Re-re-re-Dux: FCC “Concludes” a Decade of Quadrennial Reviews … For Now

Supposedly wrapping up 2006, 2010 and 2014 reviews, FCC leaves most media ownership restrictions in place, adds some new burdens As we have observed more than once (here and here, for example), the FCC’s quadrennial media ownership review process is Sisyphean in nature: even before the Commission can complete one review, the next begins, and … Continue Reading

Put It In Writing, Part III: Closed Captioning Chores Reassigned

Modified programmer compliance certifications, complaint procedures, to take effect September 22, 2016 For nearly two decades the FCC has been working to insure that television programming is appropriately accessible to the deaf and hard of hearing through closed captioning technology. In 2014 it finally got around to developing quality control standards which it applied not … Continue Reading

Heads Up! New Drone Rules Now In Effect

Era of widespread small UAS commercial operation takes off. As of August 29, the FAA’s new rules permitting commercial operation of small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS, also known as “drones”) have taken effect. (And, just in time, the FAA has announced that the Office of Management and Budget has signed off on the “information collections” … Continue Reading

Tabula (Quasi) Rasa: The 2016 EAS Operating Handbook!

Latest edition of FCC Handbook features blank spaces galore to be filled in by EAS participants themselves. Two days after we posted a reminder about the upcoming deadline for EAS participants to (a) register on the Commission’s new EAS Test Reporting System and (b) submit their Form Ones (or should that be “Forms One”?) through … Continue Reading

Copyright Royalty Judges Propose To Clarify Streaming Reporting Rules for Noncommercial Broadcasters

Proposed change would include noncommercial broadcasters among “Eligible Minimum Fee Webcasters.” It looks like noncommercial broadcasters who stream may be in for a little more clarity in their reporting responsibilities. The Copyright Royalty Judges (we’ll call them “Judges” here) have proposed to modify the rules governing how those broadcasters are supposed to report the sound … Continue Reading

DOJ Makes it Official: No Change to ASCAP/BMI Consent Decrees

Siding with music users, DOJ concludes that Decrees call for “full-work” – rather than “fractional” – music licensing; ASCAP and BMI head to court and Congress.  The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has formally closed its two-year-long review of the decades-old ASCAP and BMI Consent Decrees. Those Decrees mandate federal court oversight of the rates … Continue Reading