ATVA Members: FCC Should Tighten Ownership Regs On Broadcasters

American Television Alliance members have told the FCC that it should enforce and tighten the media ownership rules it has to "prevent broadcasters from exploiting these rules to harm consumers."

ATVA is the coalition of cable operators, satellite companies and others pitching FCC retransmission consent reforms. The FCC has a separate -- still open -- proceeding on making some changes to retrans, but ATVA took the opportunity of the FCC comment deadline Monday (March 5) in its quadrennial ownership rule review to make a similar pitch. in summarizing the comments of its individual members, ATVA wants the FCC to prohibit stations in the same market from coordinating retransmission consent negotiations.

It also argues that broadcast network "interference" in retrans negotiations hurts localism, that joint sales and services agreements are loopholes in the ownership rules that should be closed, and that stations should be banned from affiliating with multiple networks in a market.

The FCC as proposed leaving most ownership restrictions in place, while loosening a ban on newspaper-broadcast cross-ownership and lifting the ban on TV-radio crossownership.  It is also considering whether to apply ownership rules to joint agreements.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.