FCC Seeks More Comments on Possible HD Radio Power Increase - Should LPFM Be Protected?

Broadcast Law Blog

Last month, the FCC released a Public Notice requesting further comments on the proposal to increase the power of HD radio operations. The increased power for the digital radio signals has been sought by many broadcasters who believe that current HD radio power levels do not produce strong enough digital signals to penetrate buildings and fully serve radio markets.

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NPR to Conduct Study of Interference Issues from Increased HD Radio Power

Broadcast Law Blog

NPR Labs has announced that it is going to conduct a further study, financed by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, of the potential of interference from a proposed increase in the power of HD Radio operations. Last year, NPR had raised issues with the proposal by Ibiquity and a number of commercial broadcasters for power increases in the digital radio operations of FM radio stations. Thus, this study may have important ramifcations for the future of HD Radio.

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NPR to Conduct Study of Interference Issues from Increased HD Radio Power

Broadcast Law Blog

NPR Labs has announced that it is going to conduct a further study, financed by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, of the potential of interference from a proposed increase in the power of HD Radio operations. Last year, NPR had raised issues with the proposal by Ibiquity and a number of commercial broadcasters for power increases in the digital radio operations of FM radio stations. Thus, this study may have important ramifcations for the future of HD Radio.

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FCC Legal Issues for Broadcast Engineers - A Presentation to the Michigan Broadcasters

Broadcast Law Blog

Broadcast engineers are often tasked with much of a station's regulatory compliance, as well as its planning for the future. At last week's Michigan Association of Broadcasters Great Lakes Broadcasting Conference , I did a presentation to the a session of broadcast engineers and others, sponsored by the local chapter of the Society of Broadcast Engineers. Our checklist for the commercial broadcaster's public file can be found here.

AM Station Proposes to Test Silencing AM to Operate 100% From a Translator – What Does It Say About the AM Band?

Broadcast Law Blog

The broadcast trade press was abuzz this morning with a report that an Arizona AM station currently simulcasting its programming on an FM translator has asked the FCC for permission to conduct a test where it would shut down its AM for about a year and operate solely through the FM translator. The immediate issue raised by the concept of trading an AM for an FM translator is what it says about the value of broadcasting on the AM dial.

AM Station Proposes to Test Silencing AM to Operate 100% From a Translator – What Does It Say About the AM Band?

Broadcast Law Blog

The broadcast trade press was abuzz this morning with a report that an Arizona AM station currently simulcasting its programming on an FM translator has asked the FCC for permission to conduct a test where it would shut down its AM for about a year and operate solely through the FM translator. The immediate issue raised by the concept of trading an AM for an FM translator is what it says about the value of broadcasting on the AM dial.

FM Analog Translator Can Rebroadcast FM Digital Multicast Programming - Opportunities for New Signals in Local Markets

Broadcast Law Blog

In a recent decision , the FCC made clear that analog FM translators can rebroadcast the signal of a HD digital multicast channel from a commonly owned FM station. For months, broadcasters have been introducing "new" FM stations to their communities via translators rebroadcasting HD-2 signals which are broadcast digitally on a primary FM station, and available only to those who have purchased HD radio receivers.

FM Translator Processing Continues as FCC identifies Over 700 Applications that Can Be Granted - What's Next for Translator Applicants? What Should Broadcasters Be Considering?

Broadcast Law Blog

So what's next for the 2003 applicants, and what opportunities are there for other radio broadcasters? The clear opportunity for broadcasters is that there are soon going to be about 700 new translators, with many more to come after the settlement window and auction. 2003 FM translator window Appendix A translators FM Translators and LPFM translator settlement window translators for AM radio translators for HD radio

FM Translators Still Contentious – New Filing Window, Suggestions for Resolving Interference Complaints and a Request for Reconsideration of Relaxation of Rules on the Location of FM Translators for AM Stations

Broadcast Law Blog

While they have become more important to the broadcast ecosystem – especially as they now rebroadcast AM stations and HD-2 channels of FM stations – their use continues to be controversial, both because of the interference to other stations that is sometimes caused by new translators, and because of their perceived conflicts with LPFM applicants. For well over a decade, since the FM translator filing window of 2003, translators have been a controversial subject.

Hollywood Docket: White House wants spectrum; Video game industry wants tax breaks; Licensed YouTube music

THR, Esq. Entertainment & Media Law Blog

The White House is endorsing an FCC proposal to reclaim the wireless spectrum, displeasing broadcasters concerned about whether the plan will hinder their ability to broadcast in HD or provide mobile digital TV. Mediaweek] The overthrow of the Labour party.

December 1 Deadline for Biennial Ownership Reports Begins A Busy Regulatory Month for Broadcasters

Broadcast Law Blog

All commercial broadcasters (AM/FM/TV and even LPTV) have to file their Biennial Ownership Reports on December 1, beginning a very busy month in the broadcaster's regulatory world. License renewals for radio broadcasters in Georgia and Alabama are also due on that date (see our License Renewal advisory here ) , as are the Commission’s cut of the ancillary and supplementary revenues made by digital television broadcasters (our summary here ).

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FEC Seeks Comment on Proposal for Change in TV Political Disclosures

Broadcast Law Blog

We usually think of the FCC as the agency that sets the details of the broadcast disclosure obligations for political candidate’s TV ads. But because these ads run on broadcast stations, stations need to pay attention to them to avoid getting caught up in arguments about whether candidate ads are legal, and because the FEC rules often get adopted by the FCC.

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Looking Into the Crystal Ball - What Can Broadcasters Expect from Washington in 2010?

Broadcast Law Blog

Another year is upon us, and it’s time for predictions as to what Washington may have in store for broadcasters in 2010. But this year is different, as we have had a list topped by issues such as the suggestion that television spectrum be reallotted for wireless uses and the radio performance royalty , that could fundamentally affect the broadcast business. And Congress is not shy about offering its own opinions on how to make broadcasting "better."

FEC Seeks Comment on Proposal for Change in TV Political Disclosures

Broadcast Law Blog

We usually think of the FCC as the agency that sets the details of the broadcast disclosure obligations for political candidate’s TV ads. But because these ads run on broadcast stations, stations need to pay attention to them to avoid getting caught up in arguments about whether candidate ads are legal, and because the FEC rules often get adopted by the FCC.

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The Bumpy Road of Using FM Translators to Rebroadcast AM Stations or HD-2 Channels

Broadcast Law Blog

In recent years, FM translators have become more and more important to broadcasters, as they are being used to rebroadcast AM stations and HD-2 channels , giving the programming broadcast on these over-the-air signals new outlets in many markets. So, while translator stations have provided many opportunities to broadcasters, those looking at translators to rebroadcast one of their signals should be aware of these potential pitfalls that have arisen in a few cases.

Saving AM Radio - What is the FCC Considering?

Broadcast Law Blog

Inside Radio yesterday ran extensive coverage of the tests done by the NAB and certain broadcast groups on all-digital AM operations – essentially shutting off the analog signal and running the station just in a digital format on its current channel. While IBOC receivers that are already in the marketplace for AM operations (the so-called HD radios using the Ibiquity system) would work for an all-digital AM station.

SoundExchange Fees Don't Cover SESAC Obligations

Broadcast Law Blog

In recent months, SESAC has been writing letters to broadcasters who are streaming their signals on the Internet, asking for royalties for the performance of SESAC music on their websites. More than one broadcaster has asked me why they have any obligation to SESAC when they are already paying SoundExchange for the music that they stream. Thus, broadcasters do not see a separate invoice for their streaming royalties due to these organizations.

FCC Gives Digital FM Radio a Power Boost

Broadcast Law Blog

This power increase is a welcome boost to HD radio operations and was eagerly awaited by many FM stations broadcasting in digital. In any event, the Commission's Order states that stations can seek to commence operations with increased HD power of up to -14 dBc before the effective date of the new rules by filing a request for Special Temporary Authority (STA ). Tags: Band Digital Digital Radio FM FM Radio HD IBOC In channel ibiquity law on radio rules

Caution on Multicast Streams - Remember It's Still Over-the-Air Broadcasting

Broadcast Law Blog

And one occurred to me in the middle of the panel when a representative of Ibiquity , the HD Radio people, about one of the opportunities available for the multicast channels available in that system, where an FM radio operator can, on one FM station, send out two or three different digital signals. Broadcasters need to remember that that same responsibility applies to multicast streams, whether they are on HD radio or on a multicast stream broadcast by a digital television station.

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FCC Letter Questions Multi-Hop Move of FM Translator - Limits on Availability of Translators for AM Stations?

Broadcast Law Blog

An FCC letter to the licensee of an FM translator owner asking very specific information about a series of applications to move that translator to a larger market raises question as to whether the FCC is shutting the door on moves of translators from one market to another - where they have often been used to rebroadcast the signal of an AM or an FM HD signal, adding new competition.

FM Translator for HD-2 Signal Shut Down By FCC After Interference Complaints - Can't Remedy Complaint By Giving Phones With Internet App to Complaining Listeners

Broadcast Law Blog

The FCC rejected that solution, finding that a non-broadcast solution to broadcast interference imperiled broadcast service - "a free over-the-air system that is and must remain a vital source of news, information and programming for all Americans" (emphasis in the original). FM Translators and LPFM FM translator interference Section 74.1203 interference from translators translators for HD radio

Gazing Into the Crystal Ball - The Outlook for Broadcast Regulation in 2009

Broadcast Law Blog

Come the New Year, we all engage in speculation about what’s ahead in our chosen fields, so it’s time for us to look into our crystal ball to try to discern what Washington may have in store for broadcasters in 2009. With each new year, a new set of regulatory issues face the broadcaster from the powers-that-be in Washington. With the digital conversion, one would think that television broadcasters have all the technical issues that they need for 2009.

The Future of the Broadcast Media - As the FCC Meeting Next Week Considers What to Do With the TV Spectrum

Broadcast Law Blog

Many of those same truths apply to broadcast policy, and are particularly relevant with a week coming up in which the FCC may take its first steps toward dramatically reshaping the media landscape as it considers the future of the television spectrum, and potentially repurposing some of that spectrum for wireless broadband. Assuming that the changes are voluntary options afforded to broadcasters and not mandates, the changes may assist in the natural evolution of television.

Details of the Broadcaster SoundExchange Settlement on Webcasting Royalties

Broadcast Law Blog

As provided in the Webcaster Settlement Act, that settlement has now been published in the Federal Register , and thus it is available for broadcasters who are streaming their signal on the Internet, or who are streaming other programming on the Internet, to claim coverage under that settlement. Minimum Fee: Each broadcaster must pay a yearly minimum fee of $500 per channel. the stream of an HD subchannel). This may be an attractive option for many small broadcasters.

Details of the Broadcaster SoundExchange Settlement on Webcasting Royalties

Broadcast Law Blog

As provided in the Webcaster Settlement Act, that settlement has now been published in the Federal Register , and thus it is available for broadcasters who are streaming their signal on the Internet, or who are streaming other programming on the Internet, to claim coverage under that settlement. 0.0025 Minimum Fee: Each broadcaster must pay a yearly minimum fee of $500 per channel. the stream of an HD subchannel). This may be an attractive option for many small broadcasters.

New Policy on FM Translator Moves - Bigger Moves Permitted In One Hop, But Multiple Hops are an Abuse of FCC Processes

Broadcast Law Blog

As translators have become more important to broadcasters as a way to bring AM and HD-2 signals to a wider audience, this decision will have an immediate and significant impact on many broadcasters, once it becomes clear exactly what are the parameters set by the Commission. FM Translators and LPFM FM translator minor change FM translator moves FM translators for AM stations FM translators for HD signals moving FM translator

SESAC Royalties for Commercial Radio Slashed By More Than Half – Both SESAC and RMLC Claim Victory in Arbitration

Broadcast Law Blog

For commercial radio broadcasters, the royalties were significantly decreased, retroactive back to the beginning of 2016 year for stations that had elected to have RMLC represent them in this lawsuit. The new SESAC royalties will also cover the use of SESAC music on broadcaster’s streaming platforms and HD broadcasts, uses for which broadcasters had previously had to pay SESAC separately.

Details of the ASCAP Settlement with the Radio Industry - What Will Your Station Pay?

Broadcast Law Blog

We reported that a settlement had been reached in early December, and now we’ve seen the actual documents and can provide some details of this agreement between the commercial radio broadcast industry and ASCAP. It should result in significant savings for broadcasters from rates that they had been paying prior to January 1, 2010. of “revenues subject to fee from radio broadcasting."

Radio Music License Committee Settles Antitrust Suit Against SESAC – What Does it Mean for the Radio Industry?

Broadcast Law Blog

If RMLC and SESAC can’t agree to a royalty, the royalty rate will be set by an arbitrator – and past SESAC royalties would not have any precedential value in such proceedings (broadcasters have contended that past SESAC rates are far more, in comparison to those charged by ASCAP and BMI, then would be warranted based on the percentage of music from SESAC writers that is played on most radio stations).

FCC Processing of Translator Applications from 2003 Moves Ahead - Window for Opting Out of Noncommercial Status to Participate in the Auction

Broadcast Law Blog

This will probably mean that thousands of new FM translators will be granted in the coming months – providing opportunities for the expansion of broadcasters'' signals, either in the traditional way of filling in holes in the coverage of FM broadcast stations, or by allowing for the retransmission of AM and FM-HD signals. This should prompt many discussions at the NAB Convention as broadcasters look at the opportunities that these new translator stations will present.

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Could Calls on the FCC for More Spectrum Lead to the End of Over The Air TV?

Broadcast Law Blog

Today, another article cites a study filed at the Commission that suggests that the auction of TV spectrum could bring in more than three times the value of that spectrum is for broadcasting. Looking at this transition, some have theorized that the progression would continue, and the broadcast services would end up being delivered to fixed locations by wire, while the data services would be delivered wirelessly. What are broadcasters to do?

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FCC Authorizes TV Channel Sharing in Preparation for Spectrum Auctions

Broadcast Law Blog

Presumably, one six MHz channel is sufficient bandwidth to support two HD channels. Broadcast Auctions Class A LPTV Class A television Digital Television Low Power Television/Class A TV Television cable carriage of television stations class A TV low power TV sharing of TV channels spectrum spectrum auctions spectrum reallocation spectrum sharing television incentive auctions

Countdown to Comments on Next Quadrennial Review of Media Ownership Begins – Part I, Local Radio Ownership

Broadcast Law Blog

In addition, the FCC is reviewing additional ideas on how to increase diversity in broadcast ownership. In the Top 75 markets, the NAB proposes that one owner be allowed to own up to 8 FM stations, and up to 2 more if it successfully incubates a new broadcast owner (see our article here for more on the NAB proposal, and our article here for more on the FCC’s incubator rules). What effect would any change have on minority ownership of broadcast stations?

Radio Music Licensing Committee Announces Settlement With BMI Following Settlement With ASCAP - Why SESAC is Not Included

Broadcast Law Blog

While SESAC has general licenses for broadcasters and most pay roughly the same amounts, as this is a commercial transaction, the deals can be negotiated by the user and by SESAC to fit particular circumstances. And SESAC tends to charge separately for streaming, HD and other music uses, so there may be some opportunity to negotiate blanket deals covering all of these services.

3-D Conquers NAB

Thompson On Hollywood

I'm out of my element in Vegas for my first-ever National Association of Broadcasters convention. A rep from BSkyB screened some impressive 3-D footage of soccer, boxing, gladiator-style Rocketball contests, ballet and a Keane concert broadcast via satellite with exiting HD technology: they used two side-by-side HD cameras, a 3-D processor and HD encoder and transmitted up to satellite and down to the set top box.

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Multiple Ownership Proposals Released By FCC - Abolish Radio-TV Cross-Ownership Rules, Leave Most Other Rules In Place, Examine Shared Services Agreements

Broadcast Law Blog

The FCC proposes to keep these rules in place, but asks questions including: A number of broadcast groups suggest that limits not have the AM and FM subcaps - so that one owner could hold up to 8 AMs or 8 FMs in a single market. Does digital HD radio, with multicasting opportunities, in any way affect the need for the rules, or minimize the need for liberalization of the rules?

FCC Releases Multiple Items Implementing Rules for Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act (STELA)

Broadcast Law Blog

The item further clarifies that STELA no longer requires that equivalent bandwidth be dedicated to in-market and significantly viewed stations, so much as there is an HD format requirement. Accordingly, subscribers can only receive a significantly viewed HD signal, the satellite carrier must carry the HD signal of the local station affiliated with the same network.

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Selectable Output Control: Yes, it's still good for consumers

Copyrights & Campaigns

The studios want SOC in place before they implement plans to introduce a new feature: HD movies piped into the home, before DVD release, and possibly even when films are still in the theater. are physically unable to) implement the new early home HD window without SOC, because there's something "stopping" them from doing so. The studios' position in a nutshell is: Sure, as a purely technical matter, we could give everyone early-window HD VOD now.

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FCC Begins Proceedings to Implement Changes to Satellite Television Rules as a Result of STELA

Broadcast Law Blog

The model proposed is a point-to-point predictive model that will allow parties to determine whether a particular location has the ability to receive an over-the-air digital television broadcast signal at the intensity level necessary for service. In addition, on July 23, 2010, the Commission issued another NPRM proposing changes to the Commission's Rules in order to mirror the changes contained in STELA regarding carriage of significantly viewed broadcast stations.

FCC Begins Proceedings to Implement Changes to Satellite Television Rules as a Result of STELA

Broadcast Law Blog

The model proposed is a point-to-point predictive model that will allow parties to determine whether a particular location has the ability to receive an over-the-air digital television broadcast signal at the intensity level necessary for service. In addition, on July 23, 2010, the Commission issued another NPRM proposing changes to the Commission's Rules in order to mirror the changes contained in STELA regarding carriage of significantly viewed broadcast stations.

FCC Extends Dates for Comments on Proposal to Create a Class C4 FM Station – What Does This Proposal Seek?

Broadcast Law Blog

Why aren’t all broadcasters in favor of this proposal? Some broadcasters are concerned about this proposal as it could preclude some other upgrade opportunities for stations using the current classes of service. But translators, too, have become very important, both to AM stations looking to survive, and to FM operators to fill in gaps in their service and to rebroadcast HD signals.

Window to Open January 29 for Applications to Move FM Translators Up to 250 Miles to Rebroadcast AM Stations

Broadcast Law Blog

In making such a site move, the applicant can also change the translator’s channel to specify operations on any vacant frequency in the area where the AM station wants to operate that translator that will not cause interference to existing broadcasters. The FCC’s Media Bureau gave a long-awaited Christmas present to many of the country’s AM stations, releasing a Public Notice announcing the filing dates for the translator modification application filing windows for AM stations.

FM Translators and LPFM on FCC Agenda for November 30 Meeting - A Final Resolution for the Pending 2003 Translator Applications?

Broadcast Law Blog

The Commission has authorized but never licensed LPFM stations operating at 10 watts, and has now proposed to do away with this class of station that some think will create more interference than new broadcast service. As FM translators have become more important to broadcasters as a way to reach more people with programming previously available only on AM stations and FM HD channels, the fate of the translator applications is very important.