FT 303- Rules and Regs Notes

FT 303- Rules and Regs Notes - FT 303 RULES AND REGULATIONS...

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FT 303 - RULES AND REGULATIONS 1996 Telecommunications Act Updated 1934 Communications Act (kept FCC structure same) o Under 1934 act, 3 technological distinctions (print, wired and broadcasting) o Different company for different services o Separated content producers from distributors Atmosphere: public interest best served by a “reduction of regulatory control” Deregulatory Aspects: o License Renewal Period: 1984 – up from 3 to 5 years, 1996 – up from 5 to 8 years o Elimination of technological and corporate distinctions (telephone can get into cable, cable into internet) o Relaxed ownership limits 1982 AT&T forced to sell of regional bells because of monopoly issues. History of Ownership Limits Pre 1994: One company couldn’t own more than 3 TV stations nationwide. 1994 – Can own up to 5 TV stations. (RCA has 4, so RCA made legal by upping to 5) 1953: 7-7-7 Rule (Rule of Sevens – 7 AM, 7 FM, 7 TV stations) and single owner couldn’t have stations in each medium reaching/penetrating more than 25% of national audience. 1985: 12-12-12 (14-14-14 for minorities and 30% of national audience) 1992: 18-18-12 1994: 20-20-12 (Rise of Clear Channel) 1996 Act: 25% cap increased to 35%, radio limits dropped. 1996 Act: The Players Regional bells that AT&T was forced to sell in 1982. o Phone companies could get into video but not provide content o Challenging distinct technological areas. Politicians o Media industries contributed $19.6 million in 1996 o Big contributors: Disney, Time Warner, AT&T Long Distance Phone Companies Cable Operators Broadcasters (represented by NAB) Computing Interests All wanted a quick and quiet passage of the bill (written primarily by them) o Noticeable absence of debate o News media had minimal coverage o Business story, not a public policy story Post 1996 Rules and Revisions (FCC Reviewing These Now) Newspaper/Broadcast Cross-Ownership Ban o 1 Company can’t own a local newspaper & a local TV station in one community (unless grandfathered in). Considered against public interest because people would only learn one version of the news. Radio/Television Cross Ownership o In any city, a company can own 1 TV station and 1 radio station, and… If there are at least 10 independently own media voices in a market, a company may own up to 2 TV stations and up to 4 radio stations. If there are at least 20 independently owned media voices in a market, a company may own up to 2 TV stations and up to 6 radio stations OR 1 TV station and up to 7 radio stations.
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Local TV Multiple Ownership (Duopoly Rules) o Generally, one company can only own 1 TV station in a community o If there are at least 8 TV stations in a market, a company can own 2 TV stations as long as one of them isn’t among the 4 highest ranked stations Local Radio Ownership Rule o If Market Has: Then One Company Can Own: At least 45 radio stations - Up to 8 radio stations Between 30 & 44 radio stations - Up to 7 radio stations Between 15 & 20 radio stations - Up to 6 radio stations Fewer than 14 radio stations
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