The action is the latest installment of the commission’s Modernization of Media Regulation initiative. The proposal would simplify the reauthorization process when a previously approved satellite station is assigned or transferred.
The FCC today took the first step toward easing the process for reauthorizing television satellite stations when they are assigned or transferred in combination with their previously approved parent station.
Television satellite stations are full-power terrestrial broadcast stations that generally retransmit some or all of the programming of a commonly owned parent station. Stations that the commission has authorized as satellites are excepted from the broadcast ownership limits, most notably the local television ownership rule.
If a satellite station is assigned or transferred to another owner and the new owner wishes to continue operating the station as a satellite, the new owner must seek reauthorization, a process that currently requires the same evidentiary showing required for an initial authorization.
Today’s proposal would streamline this reauthorization process when a previously approved satellite station is assigned or transferred. The FCC now seeks comment on ways to reduce the costs and burdens of seeking a satellite reauthorization, for example, by requiring a certification process for applicants, while still retaining the commission’s ability to ensure that reauthorizations are in the public interest.
The item also seeks comment on whether or not to apply any streamlined processes the commission adopts to transactions involving a change in a satellite station’s parent.
This proceeding is the eighth rulemaking of the FCC’s Modernization of Media Regulation Initiative launched in May 2017 to reduce unnecessary regulation in the media marketplace.