Broadcast Regulation

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Broadcast Regulation

  1. 1. BROADCAST REGULATION
  2. 2. Why <ul><li>chaos </li></ul><ul><li>scarcity of the spectrum </li></ul><ul><li>public trustees of the airwaves </li></ul><ul><li>accessible to children </li></ul><ul><li>pervasive nature of medium </li></ul>
  3. 3. How <ul><li>Congress </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Senate & House of Representatives pass legislation, signed into law by President </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Act </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Statutes </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Code </li></ul></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Key Acts <ul><li>Radio Act of 1927 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Radio Commission </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Communications Act of 1934 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Federal Communications Commission (FCC) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Telecommunications Act of 1996 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>major deregulation </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>FCC </li></ul><ul><ul><li>implements legislation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rulemaking </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>regulate interstate and international communications by radio, television wire, satellite and cable </li></ul></ul>
  6. 7. The FCC
  7. 8. <ul><li>Through these doors walk some of the brightest minds in the industry. </li></ul><ul><li>But when they need help . . . </li></ul>
  8. 9. Never fear, Smith is here
  9. 13. Spectrum Management <ul><li>spectrum allocation </li></ul><ul><li>band allotment </li></ul><ul><li>channel assignment (licensing) </li></ul><ul><li>spectrum management with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (Dept. of Commerce) </li></ul>
  10. 15. Call Signs <ul><li>N -- Navy and Coast Guard </li></ul><ul><li>K west of the Mississippi </li></ul><ul><li>W east of the Mississippi </li></ul><ul><li>part of A </li></ul><ul><li>C -- Canada </li></ul><ul><li>X -- Mexico </li></ul>
  11. 16. Licensing <ul><li>major changes in 1996 </li></ul><ul><li>8 year license period </li></ul><ul><li>licensee must serve public interest, convenience and necessity </li></ul><ul><li>availability of frequency </li></ul><ul><li>no opposition </li></ul>
  12. 17. Basic Qualifications <ul><li>Technology </li></ul><ul><ul><li>comply with FCC technical standards--transmission facilities, interference avoidance and signal quality </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Financial </li></ul><ul><ul><li>adequate capital -- sufficient funds to operate station for three months without ad revenue </li></ul></ul>
  13. 18. <ul><li>Character </li></ul><ul><ul><li>lack of serious legal violations (don’t lie to commission, engage in fraudulent programming or commit felonies) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Citizenship/Ownership </li></ul><ul><ul><li>U.S. citizens </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>ownership restrictions </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Equal Employment </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t discriminate </li></ul></ul>
  14. 19. Opposition to License <ul><li>Contested Application </li></ul><ul><ul><li>cause signal interference </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>full hearing is granted </li></ul></ul>
  15. 20. Competing Applications <ul><li>Comparative Proceeding -- before </li></ul><ul><ul><li>considered 6 factors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>diversification of control of mass media </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>full-time participation in station operation by owners </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>proposed program service </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>past broadcast record </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>efficient use of the frequency </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>character of the applicants </li></ul></ul></ul>
  16. 21. Competing Applications Now <ul><li>Auctions </li></ul>
  17. 22. License Renewal <ul><li>should license be renewed? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>licensee has served public interest, convenience and necessity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>no serious violations of rules and regulations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>no other violations which if taken together would constitute a pattern of abuse </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>deny renewal or grant conditionally </li></ul></ul>
  18. 23. <ul><li>if deny </li></ul><ul><ul><li>may then accept applications from others </li></ul></ul>
  19. 24. Ownership <ul><li>Television Ownership </li></ul><ul><ul><li>35% national audience reach </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>D.C. Circuit Court ruled FCC must justify this rule </li></ul></ul>
  20. 25. <ul><ul><li>Radio </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>45 or more commercial radio stations in market, may own up to 8, no more than 5 of a kind </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>30-44, may own 7, no more than 4 of a kind </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>15-29, may own 6, no more than 4 of a kind </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>14 or fewer, may own 5, no more than 3 of a kind and no more than 50% of stations in market </li></ul></ul></ul>
  21. 26. Cable Horizontal Ownership <ul><li>cap at 30% of market </li></ul><ul><li>reversed by D.C. Circuit Court in March 2001 </li></ul><ul><li>September 2001, FCC opened inquiry to revise the rule which was mandated by Congress </li></ul>
  22. 27. Cable Vertical Ownership <ul><li>can’t carry own programming or programming from affiliates on more than 40% of systems </li></ul><ul><li>reversed on March 2001 </li></ul><ul><li>under review by FCC </li></ul>
  23. 28. Dual Network Rule <ul><li>may own two networks </li></ul><ul><ul><li>not two of big four </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>but one of big four and one emerging </li></ul></ul>
  24. 29. Duopoloy <ul><li>before--only one TV station in a market </li></ul><ul><li>revised August 1999 </li></ul><ul><li>in some circumstances may own 2 stations in same market </li></ul><ul><li>need eight (8) other stations in the market </li></ul>
  25. 30. Radio-Television Cross-Ownership <ul><li>also recently revised </li></ul><ul><li>under certain circumstances may own radio and television stations in same market </li></ul>
  26. 31. Newspaper/Broadcast Cross-Ownership <ul><li>prohibited </li></ul><ul><li>rule under review by FCC </li></ul><ul><li>many waivers of rule already exist </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tribune Co. owns both KTLA (Channel 5) and LA Times </li></ul></ul>
  27. 32. Cable/Television Cross-Ownership <ul><li>can’t own broadcast television station and cable system in same market </li></ul><ul><li>overturned by D.C. Circuit Court in February 2002 </li></ul>
  28. 33. <ul><li>Telecommunications Act of 1996 requires FCC to review ownership rule biennially. </li></ul><ul><li>June 2003, completed most extensive review since Act. (20 months & 520,000 comments.) </li></ul><ul><li>Also two federal court decisions striking down some rules. </li></ul>
  29. 34. Analyzed six ownership rules <ul><li>To determine if </li></ul><ul><li>“ necessary in the public interest as the result of competition.” </li></ul>
  30. 35. Local Television <ul><li>Revised local television multiple ownership rule. </li></ul><ul><li>1964 -- one to a market. </li></ul><ul><li>Rule relaxed late 90’s allow duopolies where 8 independent voices in market. </li></ul>
  31. 36. New Rule <ul><li>Markets of five or more stations--may own two (but only one of top four). </li></ul><ul><li>Markets of 18 or more--may own three (but only one of top four). </li></ul>
  32. 37. Local Radio Ownership Rule <ul><li>Big market (45 or more stations) -- can own 8 stations, no more than 5 of a kind </li></ul><ul><li>30-44 commercial stations, can own 7, but no more than 4 of a kind </li></ul><ul><li>15-29 commercial stations, can own 6, no more than 4 of a kind </li></ul><ul><li>14 or less, can own 6, no more than 4 of a kind, no more than 50% of the market </li></ul>
  33. 38. New Rule <ul><li>Redefined radio “market.” </li></ul><ul><li>Used a signal contour method. </li></ul><ul><li>Now use Arbitron’s geographic markets. </li></ul>
  34. 39. National TV Ownership <ul><li>Raised limit from 35% reach to 45% reach </li></ul><ul><ul><li>UHF reach discounted by 50% </li></ul></ul>
  35. 40. Dual Network Rule <ul><li>Top four national broadcasts networks may not merge. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Stayed same. </li></ul></ul>
  36. 41. Media Cross-Ownership <ul><li>Radio-television cross-ownership prohibited. </li></ul><ul><li>Newspaper-television cross-ownership prohibited. </li></ul>
  37. 42. New Rule <ul><li>Three or fewer TV stations, no cross-ownership (but waiver might be possible). </li></ul><ul><li>4 to 8 TV Stations: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Newspaper, TV station, half of radio stations to limit, or </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Newspaper and radio stations to limit, or </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2 TV stations and radio stations to limit </li></ul></ul>
  38. 43. <ul><li>Nine or more TV stations -- no cross-ownership ban. </li></ul>
  39. 44. Content Regulation <ul><li>In general, First Amendment prohibits content regulation. </li></ul><ul><li>Some exceptions exist. </li></ul><ul><li>Fairness Doctrine </li></ul><ul><li>Politics </li></ul><ul><li>Children </li></ul>
  40. 45. Fairness Doctrine <ul><li>Red Lion </li></ul>
  41. 46. Fairness Doctrine <ul><li>broadcasters must present discussion of public issues </li></ul><ul><li>each side of those issues must be given fair coverage </li></ul><ul><li>personal attack </li></ul><ul><li>political editorial </li></ul><ul><li>vacated 2002 by D.C. Circuit Court </li></ul>
  42. 47. Personal Attack Rule <ul><li>person or small group subject to character attack during broadcast presentations on public issues </li></ul><ul><li>notify those attacked </li></ul><ul><li>free response time </li></ul><ul><li>response time reasonable, doesn’t need to be of equal length </li></ul>
  43. 48. <ul><li>doesn’t apply to foreign individuals or groups </li></ul><ul><li>newscasts exempt </li></ul><ul><li>statements made by political candidates or their representatives are exempt </li></ul>
  44. 49. Political Editorial Rule <ul><li>if station broadcasts editorial that endorses or opposes a candidate </li></ul><ul><li>those not endorsed be given reasonable opportunity to respond </li></ul><ul><li>response time must be free </li></ul>
  45. 50. Politics <ul><li>Equal Opportunities </li></ul><ul><li>Reasonable Access </li></ul><ul><li>Lowest Unit Charge </li></ul><ul><li>Stand By Your Ad </li></ul>
  46. 51. Equal Opportunities Rule <ul><li>Section 315(a) </li></ul><ul><li>also called Equal Time </li></ul><ul><li>Exceptions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Bona fide newscasts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bona fide news interview programs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bona fide news documentaries </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>On-the-spot coverage </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Use = controlled, approved or sponsored by the candidate </li></ul>
  47. 52. Reasonable Access <ul><li>Section 312(a)(7) </li></ul><ul><li>federal candidates </li></ul><ul><li>broadcaster may not categorically exclude access or otherwise deny reasonable requests to purchase political time </li></ul>
  48. 53. Lowest Unit Charge <ul><li>Section 315(b) </li></ul><ul><li>45 days before primary, 60 days before general election may only charge lowest rate -- same class, same amount of time </li></ul><ul><li>any other time, comparable rates </li></ul>
  49. 54. Children’s Programming <ul><li>Commercial Limits </li></ul><ul><li>Programming Requirement </li></ul>
  50. 55. Commercial Limits <ul><li>applies to programming for children 12 and under </li></ul><ul><li>commercials: 10.5 minutes per hour - weekends; 12 minutes per hour - weekdays </li></ul><ul><li>no program-length commercials </li></ul><ul><li>program separators </li></ul>
  51. 56. Programming Requirements <ul><li>Must broadcast, 3 hours per week, educational and informational programming for kids under 17 </li></ul><ul><li>Educational and informational programming: that which furthers the positive development of children in any respect, including cognitive/intellectual or emotional/social needs </li></ul>
  52. 57. Other Content Controls <ul><li>sponsor identification -- paid broadcast messages must include identity of the sponsor </li></ul><ul><li>indecency -- banned between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. </li></ul><ul><li>hoaxes -- may be fined for harmful on-air hoaxes </li></ul>
  53. 58. Public Broadcasting <ul><li>Advertisements not allowed </li></ul><ul><li>Underwriting message are </li></ul><ul><li>Now have “enhanced underwriting” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>No call to action </li></ul></ul>
  54. 59. Cable Regulation
  55. 60. Story of Cable Regulation <ul><li>Regulation </li></ul><ul><li>De-regulation </li></ul><ul><li>Re-regulation </li></ul>
  56. 61. The “Pre-History” <ul><li>Origins - 1947 </li></ul><ul><li>concept and early technology of wire-based TV set into place </li></ul><ul><li>electronic communication -- 1753 </li></ul><ul><li>theaterphone -- telephone as mass medium </li></ul><ul><li>community antenna radio </li></ul>
  57. 62. The “Pioneers” Phase <ul><li>1947 - 1952 </li></ul><ul><li>First modern cable systems were established. </li></ul><ul><li>1948, service to households in mountainous or geographically remote areas where reception of over-the-air signals were poor. </li></ul><ul><li>By 1950, 70 cable systems served 14,000 subscribers nationwide. </li></ul>
  58. 63. The “Mom ‘n’ Pop” Phase <ul><li>1952-1964 </li></ul><ul><li>Systems emerged in small towns relatively free of regulatory interference. </li></ul><ul><li>Cable operators began importing “distant signals.” </li></ul><ul><li>FCC did not regulate cable. </li></ul><ul><li>1962, 800 systems serving 850,000 subscribers </li></ul>
  59. 64. The “Freeze” Years <ul><li>1964-1972 </li></ul><ul><li>FCC recognized need to protect local broadcasters. </li></ul><ul><li>First, considered as a common carrier (microwave); then, said had authority to regulate cable under 1934 Act. </li></ul><ul><li>Forbade importation of duplicative signals and required carriage of all local signals. </li></ul>
  60. 65. <ul><li>Supreme Court ruled cable a “performance” but did not have to pay for retransmission. </li></ul><ul><li>FCC, to protect UHF stations, restricted cable to markets smaller than top 100. </li></ul><ul><li>FCC required retransmission consent from every program and from every holder of a property interest in the program. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>movies, sporting events, syndicated programming </li></ul></ul>
  61. 66. The “Thaw” <ul><li>1972-1975 </li></ul><ul><li>New FCC rules: could enter major markets; but must carry all three networks and from nearest affiliate. </li></ul><ul><li>Broadcasters protected by extensive nonduplication rules. </li></ul><ul><li>Domestic satellite policy finalized in 1972. </li></ul>
  62. 67. Everybody Regulated <ul><li>1970s </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Federal government </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>States </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cities and Counties </li></ul></ul>
  63. 68. Cable Communications Policy Act of 1984 <ul><li>Local governments to issue franchises </li></ul><ul><ul><li>May award one or more </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Franchising governments may request cable operators reserve PEG channels </li></ul><ul><li>Franchising authorities generally prohibited from establishing requirements for specific kinds of programming. </li></ul>
  64. 69. <ul><li>Technical standards set primarily by FCC </li></ul><ul><li>Cable companies generally prohibited from owning TV stations that share any portion of the same service area </li></ul>
  65. 70. Cable Television Consumer Protection and Competition Act -- 1992 <ul><li>Authorized cable rate regulation by FCC and by municipalities </li></ul><ul><li>Prohibited cities from awarding exclusive cable franchises </li></ul><ul><li>FCC to develop additional technical standards </li></ul><ul><li>Some additional protection for broadcasters </li></ul>
  66. 71. Telecommunications Act of 1996 <ul><li>Repealed most of FCC cable rate regulation </li></ul>
  67. 72. Franchising Issues <ul><li>City of Los Angeles v. Preferred Communications </li></ul>
  68. 73. Content <ul><li>Most programming retransmitted </li></ul><ul><li>As to locally originated programming: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Equal opportunities rule </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lowest unit rate </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Commercial time limits of Children’s Television Act apply to cable </li></ul>
  69. 74. Access Channels <ul><li>Public </li></ul><ul><li>Educational </li></ul><ul><li>Government </li></ul><ul><li>Cable operators may screen out indecent material on public access channels </li></ul><ul><ul><li>No govt action </li></ul></ul>
  70. 75. Major Cases <ul><li>Turner </li></ul><ul><li>Preferred Communications </li></ul>
  71. 76. Current Issues <ul><li>Indecency </li></ul><ul><li>A la Carte v. Tiering </li></ul><ul><li>Digital Must Carry </li></ul><ul><li>Competition & Pricing (cable rates) </li></ul><ul><li>VoIP </li></ul>

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