FCC Calls for Foreign Media Reports

The FCC says there is an Oct. 12 deadline for U.S.-based foreign communications companies to file a report with the commission identifying their relationship to that foreign entity. The requirement does not apply to "bona fide" foreign news organizations.

But it would apply to RT, formerly Russian Television, which has had to register as such a foreign agent under pressure from the Justice Department. 

The requirement was enacted in the John S. McCain Defense Authorization Act that took effect Aug. 13 to better identify potential foreign influences on the media, an issue that has been in the spotlight because of Russian election meddling.

The reports should be submitted to ndaareport@fcc.gov.

They must include: "the name of such outlet; and 2) a description of the relationship of such outlet to the foreign principal of such outlet, including a description of the legal structure of such relationship and any funding that such outlet receives from such principal.

A foreign media outlet is defined as one that "produces or distributes video programming (as defined in section 602 of the Communications Act) that is transmitted, or intended for transmission, by a multichannel video programming distributor (as defined in such section) to consumers in the United States; and would be an agent of a foreign principal for purposes of the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1918..."

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.