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Attention Home Shoppers: FCC Extends Comment Deadline

The FCC has given commenter's until July 18 and respondents until Aug. 2 to weigh-in on whether home shopping stations should have must-carry status.

That 30-day extension of the original deadlines came following a request by Media Access Project, which said that deadline overlapped with several other proceedings.

In 1993,  the FCC determined that home shopping stations deserved mandatory cable carriage just like other commercial TV stations. They argued they were significantly viewed, met the public interest needs of the homebound and elderly who could not get out to shop, that they provided competition to other non-broadcast services, and that home shopping programming helped minority owners remain financially viable.

But earlier this year, the Center for the Study of Commercialism (CSC) filed a petition with the FCC to reconsider that decision.

On May 4 the FCC asked for comment on asking if commercial-heavy home shopping mitigates against public interest analysis. They also asked whether, in balancing the competing demands for the broadcast spectrum,  the FCC should have considered possible non-broadcast uses, rather than only the broadcast uses the FCC gauged in determining home shopping was a use deserving of mandatory carriage by cable.

Per another CSC request, the commission is also asking for input on how home shopping stations meet the public interest obligations for children's programming and important issue coverage required of other commercial TV stations.