LPTVs Push Back on FCC's Continuous Operation Mandate

LPTV Broadcasters Association logo
(Image credit: LPTVBA)

The new LPTV Broadcasters Association is calling on its members to talk to their attorneys about what it said is a new Federal Communications Commission directive that could negatively impact their business plans.

In the past, the group said, low-power television stations (LPTVs) have always had to seek construction permit waivers to be off the air for over 30 days, it points to what it said is a new FCC requirement that it will only grant license applications contingent on “continuous operations” for a full 12 months following the grant, with the ominous warning that failure to stay on the air will mean “rescission of this grant, dismissal of the license application and the forfeiture of the associated construction permit,” unless the licensee rebuts the FCC's presumption that lack of continuous operation should trigger that result.

Also Read: FCC Says LPTVs Can't Demand Satellite Carriage

An FCC spokesperson had not returned a call at press time for comment on whether it was a change in policy, and why.

The association has been busy on the FCC front since launching in August.

That includes producing a slick video (below) in support of The Local Journalism Sustainability Act and making it easy for members to bicycle the link to key lawmakers. That bill would provide funds to help local TV and radio stations and newspapers staff up their newsrooms.

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.