The Federal Communications Commission today voted 2-1 to approve a notice of proposed rulemaking that would eliminate the UHF discount for determining when a station group exceeds the 39% national ownership cap. The rule would grandfather in current station groups as well as those groups that have deals pending as of today. Commissioner Ajit Pai voted against the notice, saying that "while today's item proposes to tighten the national cap, it does not seek comment on whether doing so would be a good idea."
The "fate of pay TV" is dependent on some fundamental change to the retransmission-consent system, whether it's a switch to a la carte, the unbundling of networks, smaller rate increases or something else, Mike Farrell writes. "[I]t is obvious that something is broken here, and sending nasty letters to regulators and calling your [competitors] names in the local newspaper has already proven to solve absolutely nothing," Farrell writes. "Maybe what this industry needs to do is sit down in a dark room with broadcasters, away from the press and the bright lights and all the hoopla, and really discuss what needs to happen."
Pandora's claim that its stations' reach in some major markets is on par with major radio outlets shouldn't be believed because it hasn't been verified by an independent firm, according to Clear Channel CEO Bob Pittman. "All of their radio stations added together don't even make the top 10 in New York. That's all of their stations added up. They don't even come close," Pittman said at an industry event in New York.
The top four broadcast networks, despite an effort to streamline their various ratings metrics into a unified system, are still using different standards to sell ads for their traditional, digital and delayed viewing platforms. This article takes a look at the various metrics and platforms that networks must grapple with.
The competitive Virginia governor's race is boosting the ad coffers of TV stations that serve Washington, D.C., Virginia and parts of Maryland. Third-quarter candidate and PAC outlays were nearly $7 million, and issue ads totaled about $2 million, while Q4 is expected to yield spending of $1 million a week, according to Debbie Waxler, vice president at RJ Palmer. Political advertisers also are hitting D.C.'s radio airwaves, while other marketers are placing ads on news-talk outlets partly as a way to stand out from the cluttered TV field, Diego Vasquez writes.