The group of independent stations says the commission should to go further at its Nov. 16 vote on relaxing the ban against owning two Big 4 affils in a market. It also suggested that the FCC defer a final decision on the must-carry status of Next Gen TV signals.
The Independent Television Group today told the FCC that while it supports the commission’s proposal to relax the broadcast ownership rules, it urged it to either lift the ban against owning two Big 4 affiliates in a market, or if it proceeds with considering them on a market-by-market basis, that it do so with a presumption in favor of stations in small and medium markets.
“ITG agrees that the time has long passed for the commission to bring its broadcast ownership rules — all of which in their application to small and medium markets date to an era when there were only three national broadcast networks, cable systems were limited to retransmission of local signals in rural areas, and there was no internet — to reflect contemporary conditions,” ITG said.
ITG also applauded the FCC’s proposed endorsement of the ATSC 3.0 standard “and the steps it will take to allow the broadcast television industry to adopt new technology in a way that provides new services while protecting viewers of current digital channels.”
ITG suggested that the FCC defer a final decision on the must-carry status of Next Generation television signals given arguments that the Communications Act requires carriage of all signals of local stations that the FCC did not address in a previous proceeding.
ITG is an unincorporated organization of privately owned television stations in small and medium-size markets across the United States.