The Federal Communications Commission, starting next year, will eliminate the regulatory-fee discount for UHF stations, which will pay the same as their VHF counterparts. The agency also will place IPTV and cable in the same regulatory fee group, although it has not yet issued specifics for IPTV.
ABC, CBS and NBC, in separate filings, are each calling on the Federal Communications Commission to overhaul its indecency regulations. However, all three cast doubt on whether the agency can forge a new policy that continues to single out broadcasters in an era of multiple platforms. "Changes in the marketplace and in technology since 1978 have rendered obsolete the basic assumptions upon which the Supreme Court approved differential treatment for broadcast 'indecency,'" ABC wrote.
The Federal Communications Commission wants to regulate the corporate interests influencing news programs by forcing transparency online. The use of sponsored segments and video news releases is not unlawful, but broadcasters typically disclosing the relationship in a quick scroll at the end of the show would be required to spell out the "plugola" online.
The FCC's 2007 decision to give more leeway to newspaper-broadcast cross-ownership should have further deregulated the media business to remove caps on TV and radio ownership, per an NAB filing. The brief was submitted to the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, as part of the challenge to the changes in cross-ownership rules in "Prometheus Radio Project et al. v. FCC."
The U.S. Supreme Court should overturn the FCC's indecency rules or uphold a lower court ruling that reversed penalties against Fox for "fleeting expletives" during Fox's live telecasts of the 2002 and 2004 Billboard Music Awards, according to a brief filed with the court by Fox and a separate joint petition from ABC, CBS and NBC Universal. "The FCC abruptly abandoned the restraint that previous commissions accepted as constitutionally required, embarking on a regime of draconian enforcement and multimillion-dollar fines," Fox wrote in its brief.