Broadcast Industry Asks FCC to Keep Ownership Limits(!?)

  • Broadcast Industry Asks FCC to Keep Ownership Limits(!?)
    According to the Hollywood Reporter, the president of the National Association of Broadcasters has joined the president of two other broadcast companies in sending a letter urging the FCC to retain rules that limit a single company to having enough TV stations to reach 35% of the total US TV audience. You can read the letter in pdf format at the NAB website.

    In TV the NAB primarily represents smaller owner groups — networks like FOX have left the trade association over the very issue of ownership caps. Those smaller owners stand to be crushed by the big networks, which would prefer to own stations rather than simply have independent affiliates who aren’t under their direct control. Thus, in this case, it’s clearer why the NAB would want to retain limits that stand in the way of more consolidation in the TV station market. But do note that with big bullies like Clear Channel Communications still part of the NAB, we’ll be far less likely to see them advocating for retaining caps on radio station ownership — even if the principle is the same. In the world of commercial broadcasting, you stand on principle only when it stands for your side of things. You’re not a hypocrite if you can explain it away (especially to shareholders).

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