Tag Archives: Television

New DTV Search Page Unveiled on CDBS

Another omen of the coming DTV Transition – the FCC has added a new search option to its CDBS Public Access menu. Now you have the option of clicking on “Search for DTV Station Information”, which will whisk you to a query page that permits searches based on call sign, facility ID number, channel, city/state of … Continue Reading

Ordure in the Court?

Fox oral argument in Supremes set for November 4 In planning your Election Day activities this Fall, you might want to pencil in a stop by the U.S. Supreme Court to catch the oral argument in the Fox v. FCC indecency case. (Read about the case in our earlier post.)  It’s currently scheduled for the … Continue Reading

The Commissioners Are Coming!! The Commissioners Are Coming!!

Vacuum the red carpet, gas up the welcome wagon, get a couple of keys to the city copied up and notify the media.  The FCC has announced that, between now and February 17, 2009, the Commissioners themselves are hitting the road, “fan[ning] out” across the country to “raise awareness and educate consumers” about the coming … Continue Reading

A Midsummer Surprise From The FCC: A Revised Version Of The Public and Broadcasting!!!

The Commission has released a new version of The Public and Broadcasting, revised as of July, 2008. All full-service radio and television licensees (commercial and noncommercial) and Class A television licensees should have a copy of this latest version in their local public inspection files. You can download a PDF copy from the Commission’s website, … Continue Reading

Third Circuit Decision in CBS/Jackson Appeal

Indecency appeals – FCC now 0-2 – In a long-awaited decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit reversed the FCC’s order holding that CBS and its affiliates had broadcast indecency in the notorious 2004 Super Bowl half-time show featuring Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake.  The Court found that the FCC had had … Continue Reading

Embedded Advertising Proceeding Deadlines Set

Last month, we reported on the Notice of Inquiry and Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NOI/NPRM) launched by the Commission to examine "embedded advertising" in light of the dramatic increase in the use of "product placement" and "product integration." Advertisers have become increasingly reliant on such techniques as technology has enabled viewers to circumvent traditional … Continue Reading

Federal Appeals Court Overturns CBS Super Bowl Indecency Fine

Earlier today, the federal court of appeals for the 3rd Circuit overturned the FCC’s $550,000 fine on CBS for the broadcast of Janet Jackson’s infamous 2004 Super Bowl Halftime Show. The Third Circuit overturned the FCC’s decision on much the same grounds as the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit overturned the FCC’s "Golden … Continue Reading

Embedded advertising in the cross-hairs

By Harry Cole
703-812-0483
email


The Commission has released a Notice of Inquiry and Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NOI/NPRM) in which it expresses concern about the practice of "embedded advertising"- and its two primary components, "product placement" and "product integration"- in current programming, particularly as those practices implicate the sponsorship identification rules.  According to the Commission, "product placement" involves the mere use of commercial products as props, while "product integration" entails the inclusion of such products in the ...

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A Legacy for Broadcasters

Comedian George Carlin has passed away, but he will live on in many ways.  For broadcasters, Carlin’s most noteworthy legacy is the FCC’s indecency policy in all its tortured, blurred inconsistency.  It was Carlin, after all, who created the notion that there might be seven words that you couldn’t say on the public airwaves.  The Commission had … Continue Reading

DTV Freeze Lifted

By Lee Petro
703-812-0453
email

The FCC has lifted the freeze on the submission of DTV maximization applications and channel changes, effective May 30, 2008.  Applications which expand the previously-authorized service area of the post-transition DTV station, or propose the change in the post-transition DTV channel, can now be submitted.  All applications and petitions submitted between May 30, 2008, and June 20, 2008, along with those previously-filed applications and petitions which also included a request for waiver of the filing freeze (in place since 2004), will be given the same cut-off date.  After June 20, 2008, applications and ...… Continue Reading

New Version of Mandatory Public File Document Released

By Ron Whitworth
703-812-0478
email

An updated version of "The Public and Broadcasting," a Commission publication which all broadcasters must place in their public inspection files, was released on April 24.  All broadcasters must replace the former version of the document with the revised version immediately and also must be prepared to provide copies to any member of the public who requests one.
 
The Commission also announced that it will provide two "Broadcast Information Specialists," one in the Media Bureau's Audio Division and the other in its Video Division, to serve as contact points for the public to ...… Continue Reading

Form 355 and Website Public File Posting: Soon in the Crosshairs at OMB

By Anne Goodwin Crump
703-812-0400
email

Last November, the FCC announced that it had adopted a new "enhanced" programming report for TV licensees, and also that it would require TV licensees to post pretty much all of the local public files on their respective websites.  From March 13 until May 12, we all have an opportunity to send comments on the resulting paperwork to the FCC, which will then pass the comments on to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to let them how we feel about these new burdens.

OMB gets involved because the new ...
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Commission Releases Much-Anticipated DTV Order

By Lee Petro
703-812-0453
email

The Commission has released the long-awaited Seventh Memorandum Opinion and Order and Eight Report and Order (7th MO&O) in the DTV proceeding.
 

The 7th MO&O addresses petitions for reconsideration filed last Fall with respect to the DTV Table of Allotments adopted in August, 2007 (the infamous "Appendix B" Table).  The Commission grants more than 120 requests to change the DTV facilities specified in last August's Appendix B.  In other cases, the Commission denies certain specific requests, suggesting instead that those particular requests can be dealt with through the flexible procedures ...

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Deadline For Localism Comments Extended To April 28

By Harry Cole
703-812-0483
email


If you are thinking about filing comments in response to the FCC's Localism Report and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (MB Docket No.04-233), be advised that the deadline for those comments has been extended by the Commission to April 28, 2008.  The extended date for reply comments is June 11.  As we have observed in previous postings here and in the FHH Memo to Clients, this proceeding is extremely important and could end up imposing very substantial new burdens on all broadcasters.  We ...

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DTV Public Outreach Outlined

By Lee Petro
703-812-0453
email

The Commission released an Order on Monday, March 3rd requiring broadcasters, MVPDs (i.e., cable, satellite), manufacturers and wireless service providers to commence specific public outreach initiatives to educate the public on DTV Transition matters.  The Commission had released proposed rules in July, 2007, and has now taken steps to implement several of the proposed rules.  
 
On the broadcast side, the Commission will require TV licensees to select one of three outreach programs.  Each of the options includes a mix of Program Service Announcements (PSAs) and video crawls - all ...

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Localism NPRM Published in Federal Register; Comment Deadline Set

By Ron Whitworth
703-812-0478
email





With the publication of the Commission's Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on
localism in the February 13, 2008 Federal
Register
, the deadline to submit Comments in the proceeding has been set
for March 14, 2008.  Reply Comments will be due on April 14, 2008.





As discussed previously on this blog, the
NPRM presents a laundry list of tentative conclusions and proposed rules that
would turn the clock back nearly three decades, forcing broadcasters to comply
with costly and burdensome requirements, including a return to ascertainment
requirements similar to those required of licensees through the early-1980's. ...

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FCC’s Localism Proposed Rules/Tentative Conclusions Present Significant Burden for Broadcasters

By Ron Whitworth
703-812-0478
email

The release of the Commission's January 24, 2008 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking ("NPRM") announcing a laundry list of tentative conclusions and proposed rules concerning localism sent immediate shockwaves throughout the broadcast industry.  Particularly following up on the heels of the recently released Television Standardized and Enhanced Disclosure Requirement Report & Order (see our coverage of this R&O here, and more in depth coverage in the January edition of Memorandum to Clients).

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And they’re off !!!

By Lee Petro and Harry Cole
703-812-0400
email

On Wednesday, January 30, 2008, the FCC's Third Periodic Review was published in the Federal Register.  With that, the white flag has come down and the TV industry has entered the gun lap in the DTV transition.

The Federal Register publication also marks the effectiveness of the new interference standard of 0.5% and the permissible use of Longley-Rice and cell sizes of 0.5, 1, or 2 km.  More importantly, as a result of the Federal ...
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TV Rereg Order Released

By Ron Whitworth
703-812-0478
email

On January 24, 2008, the Commission finally released the Report
& Order
containing the standardized and enhanced disclosure
requirements which it had decided to impose on the television broadcast
industry last November.  In our November Memo to Clients we
described the FCC's action based on the public notice issued by the Commission
then.  The release of the R&O provides us with the detailed
nitty-gritty of what the FCC is imposing on the industry.

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Heat on Martin Intensifies on Eve of Media Ownership Vote

By Ron Whitworth
703-812-0478
email

One day before the December 18 FCC Open Meeting in which Chairman Kevin Martin planned to bring his media ownership proposal to a scheduled vote, 25 senators signed a letter to Martin issuing yet another warning from Congress that his actions are inappropriate.

The letter, organized by Senator Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.), stated that if the Commission proceeds with final action on the media ownership proposal on December 18, "we will immediately move legislation that will revoke and nullify the proposed rule.

The congressmen pointed out that just 28 days were allotted for comment between the issuance of ...… Continue Reading
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