Will Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh Gut Television Broadcasting As We Know It?

THR, Esq. Entertainment & Media Law Blog

What Trump's nominee said last year during a hearing could send shivers down the spines of broadcasters and other copyright holders. read more. THR, Esq. Business Television Politics Business THR Online

Washington Issues for TV Broadcasters – Where Things Stand at the FCC

Broadcast Law Blog

There is never a shortage of Washington issues for broadcasters to consider, and the rapid pace of change since the new administration took over in January has made it even more difficult to track where all the issues stand. While we try on this Blog to write about many of the DC issues for broadcasters, we can’t always address everything that is happening. Every few months, my partner David O’Connor and I update a list of the legal and regulatory issues facing TV broadcasters.

Trending Sources

Updated Political Broadcasting Guide – Questions and Answers about Broadcasters’ Obligations During this Election Season

Broadcast Law Blog

To help broadcasters sort out the confusing rules about political advertising , we have updated our Political Broadcasting Guide for Broadcasters (note that the URL for the updated version has not changed from prior versions, so your bookmarks should continue to work). The revised guide is much the same as the one that we published two years ago, formatted as Questions and Answers to cover many of the issues that come up for broadcasters in a political season.

Sinclair Broadcasting Looks to Shed Responsibility for Sexual Harassment Allegations

THR, Esq. Entertainment & Media Law Blog

Three comedy writers say they endured a hostile workplace, but whose workplace was it? read more. THR, Esq. Business Television Business THR Online

Sinclair Broadcast Group Sued for Sexual Harassment and Retaliation

THR, Esq. Entertainment & Media Law Blog

Three former employees claim a Sinclair affiliate discriminates against women and ignored complaints about harassment. read more. THR, Esq. Business Home THR Online

Looking at Music Royalty Issues for Radio and TV Broadcasters

Broadcast Law Blog

Last week, I participated in a discussion about music royalties for broadcasters at the Texas Association of Broadcasters Annual Convention in Austin. These are the organizations that represent most commercial broadcasters in their negotiations with ASCAP, BMI and SESAC for public performance licenses for “musical works” or “musical compositions” – the underlying words and music to any song.

Broadcasters Settle Copyright Dispute With FilmOn

THR, Esq. Entertainment & Media Law Blog

The development occurs after CBS, Fox, and NBC score a March victory at one appellate circuit with other decisions loomings. read more. THR, Esq. Business Television Tech Business THR Online

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FCC Media Bureau Clarifies Broadcasters’ Negotiation Remedies

New Media and Technology Law

Broadcasters may invoke “Must Carry” status or seek to negotiate terms for “retransmission” under FCC rules requiring “good faith” negotiations. On August 26, 2016, the FCC Media Bureau ruled that broadcasters are limited to the first bucket above, the Must Carry/Retransmission Consent rules. ( In re Liberman Broadcasting, Inc. Under the Media Bureau’s ruling, broadcasters may look solely to the Retransmission Consent rules to regulate their carriage negotiations.

What’s Up With Music Rights for Broadcasters and Webcasters? – A Presentation on Pending Issues

Broadcast Law Blog

While this summer has perhaps not brought the big headlines in trade press about copyright issues involving broadcasters – particularly in the area of music rights – there still are many issues that are active. I addressed some of those issues in a presentation earlier this month at the Texas Association of Broadcasters Annual Convention.

FCC Approves For the First Time 100% Foreign Ownership of US Broadcast Stations

Broadcast Law Blog

The FCC yesterday released its first decision approving 100% foreign ownership of a group of US broadcast stations. This comes after significant relaxation of the FCC’s interpretation of the foreign ownership limits which, less than 4 years ago, had been interpreted to effectively prohibit foreign ownership of more than 25% of a company controlling broadcast licensees (see our article here about the 2013 decision to relax the restrictive policy).

May Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – Incentive Auction, ATSC 3.0 and Broadcast Deregulation

Broadcast Law Blog

But, just because there are none of these regular filings due, that does not mean that the month will be a quiet one for broadcasters on the regulatory front. What exactly this means is open to some question, as all TV stations can already offer some non-broadcast services through the excess capacity provided by their digital channel. The capacity to expand their offerings of non-broadcast services is one of the benefits for TV broadcasters advanced by advocates of the new ATSC 3.0

Howard Stern Sued for Broadcasting Woman's Conversation With IRS

THR, Esq. Entertainment & Media Law Blog

An IRS agent called into the radio show and was put on hold. read more. THR, Esq. The Business Television Music Business THR Online

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FCC Political Broadcasting Rules for Write-In Candidates

Broadcast Law Blog

In these last few weeks before the many municipal elections that will be occurring in November in states across the country, I have recently received several questions about a broadcaster’s legal obligations toward write-in candidates who want to run advertising on a radio or television station. If the candidate does pass the substantial showing test, then all of the political broadcasting rules apply – just as if the candidate had qualified for a place on the ballot.

Summaries of the Legal Issues Facing Radio and TV Broadcasters – Staying on Top of Your Regulatory Obligations

Broadcast Law Blog

Each quarter, my partner David O’Connor and I update a list of the legal and regulatory issues facing TV broadcasters. If you are trying to keep on top of all the other legal and regulatory issues TV broadcasters should be considering this fall, or if you are looking for the current status of specific proceedings potentially impacting TV broadcasters, check out our most recent updated summary, here. Of course, there are issues that radio broadcasters face as well.

Fox Urges End to Broadcast Indecency Limits

THR, Esq. Entertainment & Media Law Blog

The broadcaster says that if the FCC continues to police broadcast airwaves, the agency should restrain itself to monitoring the equivalent of "shock treatment." Television Fox Broadcasting Corporation FCC Business The Parents Television Council erupts in outrage. read more. The Business THR, Esq.

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A Broadcaster’s Calendar of Important Regulatory Dates in 2016

Broadcast Law Blog

At the beginning of each year, we publish our broadcaster’s calendar of important dates – setting out the many dates for which broadcasters should be on alert as this year progresses. The Broadcasters Calendar for 2016 is available here. AM Radio FM Radio General FCC Internet Radio Noncommercial Broadcasting Political Broadcasting Programming Regulations Television broadcaster calendar

Comcast Beats Spanish-Language Broadcaster's Discrimination Complaint

THR, Esq. Entertainment & Media Law Blog

The FCC says that Liberman Broadcasting, owner of Estrella TV, isn't a “video programming vendor” and thus can't make its case. read more. THR, Esq. The Business Television Tech Business THR Online

Programmatic Advertising Buying and the FCC’s Political Broadcasting Rules

Broadcast Law Blog

With the national presidential conventions complete, and most of the state primaries for Congressional, state and local offices either behind us or to occur in the next few weeks, the most concentrated period for the purchase of political advertising on broadcast stations is now upon us, to peak in the late October/early November frenzy. In the last year or two, programmatic buying has become the buzzword in broadcast advertising circles for both radio and TV.

September Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters: EAS Test, Reg Fees, Lowest Unit Rates, Incentive Auction Stage 2

Broadcast Law Blog

While we didn’t do it early, we actually have not missed the many regulatory deadlines and important dates about which broadcasters need to take note this month. Several are of particular importance for virtually all broadcasters. As we wrote here and here , Annual Regulatory Fees for all commercial broadcasters are due by September 27. These, of course, are but the highlights of the deadlines that face broadcasters this month.

Understanding a Broadcaster’s Political Broadcasting Obligations Under FCC Rules – A Webinar Outlining the Requirements

Broadcast Law Blog

While many broadcasters’ thoughts are on holiday celebrations, the political process leading to the 2016 elections marches on. Last week, Bobby Baker, the head of the FCC’s Office of Political Programming and I conducted a webinar for broadcasters in 16 states on the legal issues that need to be considered in connection with the upcoming political season. For more information, check out our Political Broadcasting Guide , here.

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

Broadcast Law Blog

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.

A Broadcasters Calendar of Regulatory Obligations for 2017

Broadcast Law Blog

At the beginning of each year, we publish our broadcaster’s calendar of important dates – setting out the many dates for which broadcasters should be on alert as this year progresses. The Broadcasters Calendar for 2017 is available here. These dates just recently changed for noncommercial broadcasters as the FCC suspended its requirement that noncommercial stations file Biennial Ownership reports every other anniversary of their license renewal filing (see our post here ).

What Broadcasters Can Learn from the Rolling Stone Defamation Case

Broadcast Law Blog

While this decision may well be appealed, it nevertheless is a finding of which broadcasters and other media companies need to take note, as it demonstrates that a sloppy review of the facts of a news report can lead to liability – even when reporting on public figures and important issues of wide public concern. Political Broadcasting Programming Regulations defamation liability of broadcast station for truth of ads malice in defamation ny times v sullivan

FCC Updates Foreign Ownership Compliance Policies for Broadcast Companies

Broadcast Law Blog

At the FCC’s open meeting last week, the Commission adopted new policies for assessing and computing foreign ownership of broadcast companies – particularly such ownership in public companies. In addition, there are other public sources of information about funds and other investment companies that buy the stock of broadcast companies, from prospectuses to Internet news stories.

CNN To Begin Broadcasting Again In Russia

Media Law Prof Blog

From the Hollywood Reporter: CNN has obtained a new license to broadcast in Russia. The network had stopped broadcasting in January because of new legislation that banned commercials on pay television.

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Stay Tuned: Big Broadcast Ownership Rule Changes to be Unveiled Later Today

Broadcast Law Blog

According to the testimony given yesterday by FCC Chairman Pai at an oversight hearing before the House of Representatives Communications and Technology Subcommittee, the FCC is likely to release today a draft of its order on reconsideration of last year’s FCC decision on its Quadrennial Review of its broadcast ownership rules (the rules restricting the number of media outlets that one company can own in any geographic market).

Are You Streaming Your Radio Station? Reminder that Broadcasters Need to Pay Royalties to SoundExchange as well as ASCAP, BMI and SESAC

Broadcast Law Blog

But there are certain basics that broadcasters and other companies that are streaming need to know. The royalties paid for the use of musical compositions in simulcasts of a broadcaster’s over-the-air programming are all bundled with the over-the-air royalties that broadcasters pay for their over-the-air radio use of music. But broadcasters do not pay an over-the-air royalty for the use of the copyright in the sound recording.

Answering Your Questions on the FCC’s Political Broadcasting Rules – A Guide to Political Broadcasting from Candidates and Issue Advertisers

Broadcast Law Blog

An active political broadcasting season is already upon us, with things more likely to get even more hectic between now and November. Are you ready to handle all of the FCC’s political broadcasting obligations? We’ve prepared an updated Guide to the FCC’s political broadcasting rules in a question and answer format, and it is available here. Check out our 2014 Broadcasters Calendar for some of the upcoming dates for primaries and lowest unit rate windows in your state.

FCC Changes in Rules on Computation of Foreign Ownership of Broadcast Stations Now Effective

Broadcast Law Blog

Last year, the FCC made some modifications in its assessment of foreign ownership of companies with broadcast interests, relaxing some of their compliance rules to take account of the realities of the current public stock trading marketplace – realities that, using the FCC’s old policies, made determinations of the level of foreign ownership in any company difficult.

November Regulatory Dates For Broadcasters – Incentive Auction, EAS, Political and More

Broadcast Law Blog

November is one of those few months where there is a very light load of routine regulatory filings for broadcasters. Of course, there are several other dates that broadcasters need to be aware of. Once the FCC’s Broadcast Incentive Auction for television has concluded, the FCC will announce two windows for new FM translators. Broadcasters and others have an obligation to file test result data electronically through the FCC’s new Electronic Test Report System (ETRS).

New Congressional Attempts to Impose a Performance Royalty for Sound Recordings on Broadcast Radio, Including the PROMOTE Act – What Do They Provide?

Broadcast Law Blog

In the last month, there have been two bills introduced in the US House of Representatives seeking to impose a performance royalty for sound recordings on broadcast radio stations in the US. In fact, it does not do that, instead merely setting up a royalty system similar to that in place for Internet radio operators, allowing broadcasters to play music only if they pay royalties on “identical” rates and terms as do webcasters.

NAB Announces Agreements with Sony and Warner to Waive Performance Complement and Other Statutory Requirements for Broadcasters Who Stream Their Signals

Broadcast Law Blog

The NAB has announced agreements with Sony and Warner Music Groups to waive certain of the statutory requirements for broadcasters who stream their over-the-air signals on the Internet. But those agreements expired at the end of 2015, giving rise to fears among some broadcasters that some standard broadcast programming could not be streamed on the Internet (see our article here about those concerns). The deals are open to all broadcasters, not just NAB members.

What’s Up for Broadcasters in Washington Under the New Administration – A Look Ahead at TV and Radio FCC Issues for the Rest of 2017

Broadcast Law Blog

But there are many other broadcast issues that are unresolved to one degree or another – and potentially new issues ready to be discussed by the FCC this year. We usually dust off the crystal ball and make predictions about the legal issues that will impact the business of broadcasters earlier in the year, but we have waited this year to get a taste for the changes in store from the new administration. General Broadcast Issues. Foreign Ownership of Broadcast Stations.

HBO Fights Energy Co.'s Bid to Prevent Re-Broadcast of John Oliver's 'Last Week Tonight'

THR, Esq. Entertainment & Media Law Blog

The pay network says the so-called "John Oliver Effect" is no reason to impose an unconstitutional prior restraint on speech. read more. THR, Esq. Business Television Business THR Online

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Three Last Minute Political Issues for Consideration by Broadcasters

Broadcast Law Blog

We’re down to the last week and a half before the election, but broadcasters can’t let up quite yet, as the last week is almost always the busiest for political advertising. Here are three issues that broadcasters should be considering in these last days before the election: Weekend Access. Advertising Issues Political Broadcasting attack ads equal opportunities equal time weekend access to political candidates

October Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – Many Routine Filings for All Broadcasters, Incentive Auction Actions, and More

Broadcast Law Blog

October is one of those months where the regulatory stars align, when not only do broadcasters in many states have EEO Public File report obligations, but also Quarterly Issues Programs Lists need to be placed in the public files of all commercial and noncommercial stations, and Quarterly Children’s Television Reports need to be filed at the FCC and placed in the public files of television stations.

Our Quarterly Review of the Legal and Regulatory Issues Facing TV Broadcasters

Broadcast Law Blog

Each quarter, my partner David O’Connor and I update a list of the legal and regulatory issues facing TV broadcasters. So if you are wondering what legal and regulatory issues TV broadcasters should be considering this summer, or are looking for the current status of any proceeding potentially impacting TV broadcasters, check out our most recent updated summary, here.

Broadcast Creditors Beware – $11,000 Fine Imposed for FCC Reporting Shortcomings in an AM Foreclosure Action

Broadcast Law Blog

We’ve written before about other issues that can arise in resolving disputes over the foreclosure or other enforcement actions against broadcast licensees by commercial creditors (see, for instance, our articles here and here on enforcing a loan to a broadcaster , and our article here about security interests in FCC broadcast licenses ). So for any creditor of a broadcast licensee, this case makes clear that you need to proceed with caution!

5 Things Broadcasters Should Know About SoundExchange Music Royalties

Broadcast Law Blog

Today, Jacobs Media Strategies published on their blog an article I wrote on the topic – discussing 5 things that broadcasters should know about music royalties. The new royalties set by the CRB represent a big savings for broadcasters. I wrote how the royalties represent a big savings for most broadcasters who simulcast their signals on the Internet.

Judge Agrees Broadcasters Have First Amendment Right to Refuse Advertisements

THR, Esq. Entertainment & Media Law Blog

SiriusXM wins a lawsuit against a dating company as a result. read more. THR, Esq. Business Television Business THR Online