Congressional Letter to FCC on CALM Act Violations Puts Focus on FCC Enforcement Issues

Broadcast Law Blog

As we highlighted yesterday in our weekly summary of regulatory issues for broadcasters, last week saw a letter from Congresswoman Anna Eshoo to the FCC asking for the FCC to review the enforcement of the rules established by the CALM Act , which prohibits loud commercials on TV stations. But, ultimately, the FCC adopted rules that were based on industry standards and most parties seemed to believe that they were workable (see our article here about the adoption of those rules).

FCC To Clarify Political Advertising Rules – No Significant Changes Proposed

Broadcast Law Blog

Last week, it was announced that the FCC would be considering some changes to its political broadcasting rules at its monthly open meeting in August. The FCC’s proposal would just make sure that what is already being done is spelled out in the rules.

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FCC Implements Supreme Court Order Reinstating 2017 Ownership Rule Changes, and Asks for Updating of Record of 2018 Quadrennial Review

Broadcast Law Blog

Last Friday, the FCC took two actions on broadcast ownership resulting from the recent Supreme Court decision (about which we wrote here ) upholding changes to the ownership rules that the FCC adopted in 2017. The FCC started such a proceeding in 2018.

FCC Grants Conditional Waiver To NFL For "Coach to Coach" Communications In Event of Internet Outage

Media Law Prof Blog

The FCC has conditionally granted the National Football League's request for a waiver of Section 96.39(C) C) of the Commission's rules "to allow it to continue to operate its coach-to-coach communications system in the limited circumstance of an Internet outage in

FCC Publishes Tentative Agenda For March 17th Open Meeting

Media Law Prof Blog

The FCC has published the tentative agenda for its March 17th open meeting. Among the items the FCC plans to discuss at this point: Improving the Emergency Alert System and Wireless Emergency Alerts Consideration of Two National Security Matters (unidentified

FCC Approves Fourth Set of COVID-19 Telehealth Program Applications

Media Law Prof Blog

The FCC has approved another set of COVID-19 telehealth program applications. More information about the telehealth program, including prior FCC program application approvals, here Text here.

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FCC Application Fees Going Up

Broadcast Law Blog

The FCC yesterday released an Order announcing its adjustments to its application fees for commercial broadcasters and other FCC licensees. cost of living increase in the processing fees that are paid when broadcasters file an application with the FCC. So, if you are planning an FCC application that will be filed a few months from now, pay attention to the effective date of the new fee schedule to avoid having your application bounced for paying an incorrect fee.

This Week in Regulation for Broadcasters: July 3, 2021 to July 9, 2021

Broadcast Law Blog

The FCC’s Media Bureau reminded all low power television and television translator stations that their digital transition must take place by Tuesday, July 13, 2021. The proposed changes are detailed in the FCC’s draft of the proposal, here.

FCC Extends Comment Dates on CVAA – Inquiry About Whether There is a Need to Update Video Programming and Other Accessibility Rules

Broadcast Law Blog

Under the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 (commonly called the CVAA ), the FCC has adopted many rules designed to enhance accessibility to broadcast communications, particularly those provided by television broadcasters. In a recent Public Notice , the FCC asked for comments as to how the implementation of the CVAA has worked in the decade that it has been in effect, and what changes (if any) need to be made to reflect current technologies.

FCC Establishes First Two Innovation Zones

Media Law Prof Blog

From an FCC press release: FCC ESTABLISHES FIRST TWO INNOVATION ZONES New York City & Salt Lake City Projects Empower Advanced Wireless Technology and 5G-Ready Network Experimentation -- WASHINGTON, September 16, 2019—The Federal Communications Commission today announced the creation of

FCC Pulls Controversial Set-Top Box Proposal From Meeting Agenda

THR, Esq. Entertainment & Media Law Blog

FCC chairman Tom Wheeler says rules reshaping access to TV programming will remain under consideration, but that the FCC needs to resolve technical and legal issues. read more. THR, Esq. The Business Television Tech Business THR Online

FCC Adopts Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to Review EEO Rules

Broadcast Law Blog

When the FCC initiated its most recent EEO audits , we mentioned that the Commission was planning a rulemaking to review the effectiveness of its EEO rules for broadcasting and multi-channel video operators. The FCC’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking to review these rules has now been released. EEO Compliance/Diversity FCC EEO audit FCC EEO enforcement FCC Form 397 EEO mid-term report

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FCC Announces that Window to Apply for New Noncommercial FM Stations Will Open in November

Broadcast Law Blog

The FCC released its decision to limit to 10 the number of applications that can be filed by one party in the next window for new noncommercial FM stations in the reserved FM band (those channels below 92.1 By making this decision, the FCC cleared the way for the window itself, which was first hinted at last summer (see our article here ).

FCC Issues Notice of Proposed Rulemaking: One-Ring Scam Calls

Media Law Prof Blog

The FCC has issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the matter of one-ring scam calls. One-ring scams are annoying and pernicious, waking up many Americans with confusing calls in the middle of the night and tricking them out of

FCC Publishes Annual Reminder on Accessibility Obligations for Broadcast of Emergency Information

Broadcast Law Blog

The FCC yesterday released a Public Notice reminding TV stations and other video programming providers including cable and satellite television providers of their obligations on making emergency information accessible for all viewers.

FCC general counsel responds to Comcast decision

THR, Esq. Entertainment & Media Law Blog

The FCC's top lawyer has taken to the agency's blog to respond to yesterday's big appeals court ruling shooting down the FCC's authority to regulate "net neutrality" on the Web. Tags: FCC Austin Schlick says he's "assessing the implications" of the decision.

FCC Regulatory Fees for Broadcasters Proposed to Increase Significantly to Cover Cost of FCC Headquarters Move

Broadcast Law Blog

FCC regulatory fees come around each year, and it seems like they always go up. This year is no different, as the FCC has asked for comments on its proposed fees to be paid later this year (probably in September), and the proposed fees go up significantly for broadcasters. The fees are meant to recoup the costs of the FCC’s regulation of the industries that it oversees. The FCC promised to revisit TV fees next year to determine the impact of the incentive auction.

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This Week in Regulation for Broadcasters: May 8, 2021 to May 14, 2021

Broadcast Law Blog

In a speech to the Media Institute, FCC Commissioner Starks spoke of the importance of diversity in media ownership and how it should be considered in making any decisions on revisions to the media ownership rules. As we noted in last week’s update , the FCC released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that sets out its tentative plan for assessing broadcast regulatory fees to be collected before October 1 of this year, with comments due on or before June 3 and reply comments due by June 18.

Transfer of FCC EEO Branch from Media Bureau to Enforcement Bureau Now Effective

Broadcast Law Blog

In July, we wrote about the FCC’s plan to transfer the responsibility for EEO enforcement f rom the Media Bureau, where it has resided, to the Enforcement Bureau which the FCC suggested would have more resources and experience to aggressively enforce the FCC’s EEO rules and policies. That transfer was effective on Friday (see the FCC public notice here ).

FCC: Robocaller Should Pay Nearly $13M Fine For Illegal, Spoofed Robocalls

Media Law Prof Blog

The FCC has suggested that Scott Rhodes, whom the agency has named as a robocaller who placed "unlawful, spoofed robocalls to target a community grappling with the recent murder of a local woman, threaten a journalist and newspaper, and attempt

US Attorneys and FCC Combine to Shut Down Pirate Radio Station

Broadcast Law Blog

The FCC yesterday issued a News Release about an unusual action taken by the US Attorney’s Office in Massachusetts entering into a consent decree with a pirate radio operator, where the operator agreed to surrender all of its operating equipment to the FCC, and to stop broadcasting illegally. This shows what the FCC and the Department of Justice can already do to stop illegal pirate radio operators.

FCC May Hold January Open Meeting By Conference Call, Without the “Meat”

Broadcast Law Blog

The FCC by law is required to hold a monthly public meeting but, when the bulk of its employees are furloughed, it is difficult to meaningfully adhere to that obligation. The FCC announced earlier this week that it would go ahead with its January 30 meeting but, if the lapse in appropriations continues through January 29, it will conduct that meeting by conference call, rather than live as is routine.

Another FCC Broadcast Case Designated for Hearing – With Much Different Stakes

Broadcast Law Blog

Yesterday, the FCC issued a hearing designation order – though one with much lower stakes than the last designation order issued by the FCC which seemingly resulted in the termination of the proposed Sinclair-Tribune merger. Issues were raised as to whether the licensee in its FCC applications lied to the FCC about whether its board of directors was made up of US citizens – there being substantial evidence that the board members were in fact citizens of other countries.

FCC Fine for Premature Construction of Radio Station – Don’t Construct New Facilities Without FCC Permission

Broadcast Law Blog

The FCC has for decades prohibited the “ premature construction ” of broadcast stations – constructing new stations or new facilities for existing stations prior to the issuance of an FCC construction permit. But, last week, the FCC issued a Notice of Apparent Liability proposing to fine an LPFM station licensee $5000 for making changes in its station without prior FCC approval of its pending construction permit application.

FCC Issues Draft Proposal To Revoke Rule Requiring Physical Copy of FCC Rules at All Broadcast Stations

Broadcast Law Blog

We yesterday wrote about Chairman Pai’s promise to start the process of modernizing media regulation by abolishing a simple but outdated rule – one requiring that each broadcast station have a physical copy of the FCC rules on the station premises. Yesterday, the FCC released a draft of their Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to implement that change in the rules. AM Radio FCC Fines FM Radio General FCC Television FCC rulesbook at station Modernization of Media Regulation Initiative

FCC Votes to Repeal Net Neutrality Rules

THR, Esq. Entertainment & Media Law Blog

The next stop will be a courtroom as the media regulatory agency retreats from prohibiting ISPs from blocking and throttling content. read more. THR, Esq. Business Tech Business THR Online

FCC Shuts Down Because of Government Funding Impasse – What Does It Mean for Broadcasters?

Broadcast Law Blog

Do you have a deal to buy a new station or a planned technical modification that needs FCC approval? Well, it looks like those plans may have to wait as the budget controversy in Washington has shut down the FCC. The FCC clarified some of the questions broadcasters have in a Public Notice released Wednesday. So for those stations needing FCC approvals for actions relating to the repacking of the TV band, the FCC will be functioning.

FCC Will Vote On Net Neutrality Thursday Despite Protests (Analysis)

THR, Esq. Entertainment & Media Law Blog

FCC Business The passage will begin a long process of comments and rewrites before there is a final vote, followed by the inevitable court challenges. read more. The Business THR Online THR, Esq.

Comcast sues FCC over P2P network regulation

THR, Esq. Entertainment & Media Law Blog

Last August, FCC chairman Kevin Martin came down hard on Comcast after the company took steps. Tags: FCC Litigation By Eriq Gardner Comcast is suing the Federal Communications Commission, challenging the government agency's authority to regulate how ISPs thwart customers using peer-to-peer networks.

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Overpower FM Translator Prompts $12,000 FCC Fine

Broadcast Law Blog

In an Order released earlier this week , the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau imposed a $12,000 fine on the licensee of an FM translator in California because FCC inspections revealed that the translator was operating above its licensed power. The FCC found that the station was operating with a Transmitter Power Output of 7.5 The power output cannot exceed 105% of what is authorized on the license (See Section 74.1235(e) of the FCC Rules).

Update: Comment Dates Set on FCC Proposal to Abolish Requirement for Paper Copies of FCC Rules

Broadcast Law Blog

The comment dates have now been set on the FCC’s proposal to abolish the requirement that licensees of certain classes of broadcast stations (including translators and auxiliary stations) maintain a paper copy of the FCC rules. FM Translators and LPFM General FCC FCC rule book Modernization of Media Regulation Initiative

February Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – EEO Reports, Webcasting Proceeding, FCC Meeting and Other Issues

Broadcast Law Blog

All of those January dates that we wrote about here have been extended by an FCC Public Notice released yesterday until at least Wednesday, January 30 (except for the deadlines associated with the repacking of the TV band which were unaffected by the shutdown). So Quarterly Issues Programs lists should be added to the online public file by January 30, and Children’s Television Reports should be submitted by that date if they have not already been filed with the FCC.

FCC Commissioner O'Rielly's Statement on the Sinclair/Tribune HDO

Media Law Prof Blog

FCC Commissioner Michael O'Rielly's statement on the Sinclair/Tribune Hearing Designation Order (HDO

FCC Being Anything but CALM About Congressional Letter – Asks for Public Comments on CALM Act Enforcement

Broadcast Law Blog

Earlier this week, we highlighted a letter sent last week from Congresswoman Anna Eshoo asking the FCC to review CALM Act compliance. The letter noted that the FCC has received thousands of complaints about loud commercials in the decade that the law has been in effect without having taken any enforcement action. After the legislation was passed, the FCC adopted rules to implement the Act (which we described here ).

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FCC Releases Draft Order to Abolish FCC Form 397 Mid-Term EEO Report

Broadcast Law Blog

Along with the draft NPRM we wrote about yesterday to consider changes to the FCC’s rules for granting new construction permits for noncommercial stations and LPFMs, the FCC last week issued another draft order to be considered at its January 30 meeting, assuming that the partial government shutdown has been resolved and the FCC has returned to normal operations.

FCC Net Neutrality Repeal Challenged in Court

THR, Esq. Entertainment & Media Law Blog

Among the petitions filed Tuesday is one from 21 state attorney generals. read more. THR, Esq. Business Television Tech Business THR Online

FCC to Shake Up Media Ownership Rules

THR, Esq. Entertainment & Media Law Blog

The media agency is widely expected to eliminate many local market regulations at a meeting next month. read more. THR, Esq. Business Television Business THR Online

Low Power FM Back In Front of FCC – Another Proposal to Raise Power and Word of a New Filing Window

Broadcast Law Blog

As we noted a week ago in our summary of FCC regulatory actions, a Petition for Rulemaking has been filed by REC Networks asking that the maximum authorized power for LPFM stations be raised from 100 to 250 watts. This is just an initial proposal asking the FCC to start a rulemaking to further consider this power increase. In its draft of the reconsideration order to be considered by the FCC at its June meeting, the FCC would reject all of these reconsideration requests.

Judge Won't Let FCC's Net Neutrality Repeal Stop Lawsuit Alleging Charter Throttled Netflix

THR, Esq. Entertainment & Media Law Blog

Rejecting a motion to dismiss a lawsuit brought by New York's attorney general, a judge notes how the FCC said that states "continue to play their vital role in protecting consumers from fraud." read more. THR, Esq. Business Television Tech Business THR Online

FCC Announces New Round of EEO Audits for Radio Companies

Broadcast Law Blog

The FCC yesterday issued a Public Notice announcing its second EEO audit for 2015. Letters to just over 100 radio (no TV stations were included in the current audit) went out on June 12 asking for evidence of their compliance with the FCC’s EEO rules. In yesterday’s notice, the FCC released the form audit letter and list of stations that will be audited. Responses from the audited stations are due to be filed at the FCC by July 27.

FCC Rules for All-Digital AM Radio Become Effective – Will There Be a Flood of Applications?

Broadcast Law Blog

The FCC’s order adopted in late October authorizing AM stations to voluntarily convert to operations in a fully-digital mode became effective yesterday when the approval of its information-collection obligations under the Paperwork Reduction Act was announced in the Federal Register. We wrote about the draft of the FCC’s order adopting these rules, and the paperwork required for a station to convert, here.

The FCC and Online TV Services

Media Law Prof Blog

The National Journal on growing resistance to the FCC's plan to regulate online TV services

This Week in Regulation for Broadcasters: July 17, 2021 to July 23, 2021

Broadcast Law Blog

The four television network affiliates groups have asked the FCC to clarify its new rules for sponsorship identification of programming paid for or produced by foreign governments or their representatives. The content requirements can be found in the FCC’s rules, here. ( Public Notice ). .