News & Analysis as of

FCC Media Bureau Clarifies Broadcasters’ Negotiation Remedies

Negotiations between television channels/networks and pay TV operators are a breed apart.  The stakes are high and the consequence of failure – a “dark” screen – is all too public. But the critical factor that sets...more

FCC Takes a Mulligan, Announces September 13 as the Start Date for Stage 2 of the Spectrum Auction

Perhaps indicating that the rapid conclusion of Stage 1 of the Incentive Auction was not a surprise to the FCC, the Commission moved with lightning speed to announce that Stage 2 of the auction will commence on September 13...more

Incentive Auction Stage 1 Falls ($66 Billion) Short of the Target—On to the Next One!

You can almost hear Agent Maxwell Smart’s trademark “Missed it by that much!” The FCC quietly announced just after C.O.B. today that “[b]idding in the forward auction has concluded for Stage 1 without meeting the final stage...more

Contested FCC Media Ownership Order Leaves Rules Largely Unchanged

After failing to complete the required Quadrennial Review of its media ownership rules for nearly a decade, on August 25, 2016, the FCC released a Second Report and Order signaling the completion of both its 2010 and 2014...more

A Good Faith Disconnect on Retrans

There is an old vaudeville routine I’ve found more useful for understanding lawmaking in Washington than any textbook. It goes something like this: - (Scene: a nighttime street corner illuminated by a single...more

Chairman Wheeler Circulates Proposed Multiple Ownership Rules That Expand Regs for TV

Today, the FCC released a document entitled Fact Sheet: Updating Media Ownership Rules in the Public Interest. The driver behind the Fact Sheet is the Chairman’s promise to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals that draft...more

Broadcast Issues/Programs Lists Due; Online Public File Reminder; Children’s Programming; Commercial Limits; and Class A TV...

By July 10, 2016, all radio and television broadcast stations, both commercial and noncommercial, must prepare a list of important issues facing their communities of license, and the programs aired during April, May and June...more

Making the Move to the New Online Public Inspection File System This Friday

Friday will see the launch of the FCC’s new online public inspection file system, called, not surprisingly, the Online Public Inspection File (“OPIF”). With stations moving to a “next gen” public inspection file, Pillsbury...more

New Online Public File Demonstration Set for June 13

In a Public Notice released June 2, 2016, the FCC has taken the next steps towards implementing the expanded online public inspection file, which is set to go live on June 24th. Specifically, the FCC announced that on June...more

FCC Announces Effective Date for Expanded Online Public File Requirement

In our Memorandum of January 28, 2016, we described the FCC’s expansion of the online public file requirement to cable TV, DBS, broadcast and satellite radio stations. Until now, only TV stations have been required to keep...more

Broadcast Client Advisory: June 24, 2016 Effective Date for Expanded On-Line Public Files

The FCC has announced that its expanded requirements for on-line public files will become effective June 24, 2016. Commercial radio stations in the top 50 Nielsen markets with five or more full-time employees must begin...more

All New Online Public File for TV, Radio, Cable and Satellite Coming June 24th

Television broadcasters have had to comply with an online Public Inspection File requirement since 2012. This past January, the FCC announced that it would expand the online Public File requirement to certain broadcast...more

FCC Enforcement Monitor ~ April 2016

Pillsbury’s communications lawyers have published FCC Enforcement Monitor monthly since 1999 to inform our clients of notable FCC enforcement actions against FCC license holders and others. This month’s issue includes: -...more

FCC Sets Clearing Target and Starting Date for Incentive Auction

In a long-anticipated move towards commencement of the spectrum auction, the FCC today released a Public Notice and related Appendix providing an initial clearing target of 126 Megahertz of spectrum in what is currently the...more

FCC Adopts Rulemaking Notice Proposing to Expand Video Description Requirements

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) proposing to amend its video description rules to increase the amount of required video described programming as well as the number...more

FCC’s Efforts to Expand Video Description May Spark Debate on Statutory Authority

The FCC’s video description rules require covered broadcasters and MVPDs to provide audio-narration of the key visual elements of a program during pauses in the dialogue so as to make it more accessible to individuals who are...more

Broadcast Station Reminder — Quarterly Filings and Requirements: Issues/Programs Lists; Children’s Programming; Commercial Limits;...

By April 10, 2016, all radio and television broadcast stations, both commercial and noncommercial, must prepare a list of important issues facing their communities of license, and the programs aired during January, February...more

FCC Provides Application Details for TV Stations Participating in Reverse Incentive Auction

In previous advisories dated Aug. 6, 2015 and Aug. 13, 2015, we provided an overview of the FCC’s incentive auction due to begin next year. The FCC has now released a lengthy Public Notice describing the application...more

Broadcast Station Reminder — Quarterly Filings and Requirements: Issues/Programs Lists; Children’s Programming; Commercial Limits;...

By October 10, 2015, all radio and television broadcast stations, both commercial and noncommercial, must prepare a list of important issues facing their communities of license, and the programs aired during July, August and...more

FCC Updates Contest Rule to Provide Flexibility to Meet Disclosure Requirements

Radio and television stations, as well as their audiences, have reason to celebrate. Last week, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced significant updates to its regulations regarding the disclosure of material...more

2015 FCC Regulatory Fees Due By September 24, 2015

The FCC has announced a deadline of September 24 for receipt of its Fiscal Year 2015 annual regulatory fees. Fees are owed on all authorizations held as of October 1, 2014. Payment may be made by credit card, debit card,...more

FCC Public Notice Provides Details for Incentive Auction

As noted in our recent advisory on this subject, the FCC adopted procedures for next year’s scheduled incentive auction at its open meeting on Aug. 6. The FCC has now released the details in a 156-page Public Notice,...more

Alert: US Spectrum Auction Presents Investment Opportunity

On March 29, 2016, the Federal Communications Commission ("FCC") will begin its Television Broadcast Incentive Auction. Television broadcasters will first bid in a "reverse" auction to return their spectrum to the government...more

FCC Adopts Incentive Auction Procedures

At its open meeting today, the FCC adopted its much-anticipated Incentive Auction Procedures Public Notice, providing details about the auction officially scheduled to begin March 29, 2016. Although the actual Public Notice...more

FCC Releases Emergency Information Accessibility Rules for Second-Screen Devices and Grants Compliance Waivers

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has released the text of its Second Report and Order (R&O) adopting rules requiring multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs) to pass through the secondary audio stream...more

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