Univision, Telemundo Criticize DACA Decision

The two most prominent media companies that program to a Spanish-speaking audience criticized the Trump administration’s decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, announced Tuesday morning.

FCC Reschedules September Open Meeting

The FCC’s September Open Meeting has been changed from Thursday, Sept. 28, to Tuesday, Sept. 26, in Room TW-C305, starting at 10:30 a.m. Because of the timing of this change, which has been made to accommodate a commissioner’s schedule, the FCC said the chairman and commissioners have unanimously agreed that the meeting items will be announced and publicly released on the originally scheduled date of Thursday, Sept. 7, rather than three weeks before the new meeting date.

Drone King DJI Has Serious Pentagon Problem

BRAND CONNECTIONS

FCC Pushes Back Ownership Report Deadline

The FCC announced on Friday afternoon that it would push back the Dec. 1 deadline for commercial and noncommercial broadcast stations to file their biennial ownership reports. Rather than opening the filing window on Sept. 1 and closing it on Dec. 1, the FCC will open the window on Dec. 1 and close it on March 2, 2018. The commission stressed that it is only changing the filing due date, not the period of time covered by the report.

Tech Advisers To Assist FCC On New Devices

The FCC’s Technological Advisory Council is looking to reform the FCC’s technical regulations. Composed of very smart industry engineers, academics and other tech leaders who provide advice to the FCC, the TAC wants to figure out how to provide for fast regulatory approvals of new technologies, while still meeting the agency’s statutory obligation to protect the public interest, including the well-being of consumers and the efficient use of spectrum.

Decision Still Pending On Fox-Sky Takeover

British authorities have received yet more clarification from media regulator Ofcom on 21st Century Fox’s attempted takeover of Sky, with a decision on whether to refer the deal to competition authorities still pending. Despite having received the go-ahead in all other relevant territories where Sky operates, the deal has been bogged down by regulatory investigations and government indecision in the U.K.

TVN'S FCC WATCH

A Broadcaster’s Guide To Washington Issues

TVNewsCheck‘s quarterly quick briefing on the legal and regulatory proceedings affecting broadcasters from communications attorneys David Oxenford and David O’Connor.

NCTA Wants Conditions On Sinclair-Tribune

The trade group tells the FCC that the merged entity should be given restrictions on its ability to negotiate for retransmission consent fees as well as be forced to comply with existing media ownership limits, not “hoped-for” relaxed ownership limits.

Unions Take Aim Against Sinclair-Tribune

They say the proposed merger if approved would “reduce viewpoint diversity and competition, harm localism and reduce jobs.”

VidAngel Turns To Utah Court For Relief

Having suffered a string of legal defeats, VidAngel is hoping to have better luck in a Utah courtroom. On Thursday, VidAngel brought a lawsuit against a host of entertainment companies and is seeking declaratory relief that its streaming service that filters profanity, sex, violence and more from movies is permissible by law.

STATION ADVISORY

Update On FCC Underwriting Limitations

Last week, the FCC reached a consent decree with a noncommercial broadcaster, where the broadcaster paid an $8000 penalty for, among other things, running underwriting spots that were too promotional. Not all noncommercial stations realize that, while their ability to promote a commercial enterprise is limited, these same restrictions do not apply to on-air spots for other nonprofit organizations.

Jerry Springer Considering Run For Ohio Gov.

Jerry Springer is thinking about making a run for Ohio governor after all, one of his closest friends said Wednesday. “There have been who have asked him to run for governor, and he is considering it and will decide that pretty soon,” said Northern Kentucky’s Jene Galvin, who co-hosts a weekly podcast with Springer. “He’s about done figuring it out, but he had to give some serious thought to it first.”

FCC’s Pai To Visit Texas Next Tuesday

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai will be in Texas on Tuesday, Sept. 5, to inspect the damage caused by Hurricane Harvey and meet with those engaged in recovery efforts. “Working in close coordination with the Department of Homeland Security, the FCC will do everything it can to help restore communications services after this terrible storm,” said Pai.  “I look forward to meeting those on the ground in Texas and seeing firsthand what needs to be done to make sure that those affected can get back on their feet as quickly as possible.”  

DMA 33

KSHB Kansas City Sued Over News Report

DirecTV Turns Tide In $4B FTC Suit

A federal judge in California has paused a trial in which the FTC is seeking $4 billion from AT&T and will allow the telecom to file for a partial judgment. U.S. District Judge Haywood S. Gilliam Jr. said there is a “substantial issue” in regard to the FTC’s calculations of its $4 billion “unjust gains” calculation. The judge gave AT&T attorneys two weeks to file briefings, further poking holes in that math.

Olivia De Havilland Slams FX Over ‘Feud’

NY Times Beats Palin Defamation Lawsuit

The New York Times has prevailed in defense of a defamation lawsuit brought by Sarah Palin over an editorial that mistakenly linked one of her political action committee ads to a 2011 mass shooting that severely wounded then-Arizona Congresswoman Gabby Giffords. U.S. District Court Judge Jed Rakoff dismissed the complaint on Tuesday.

Showtime Sued Over Failed Boxing Streams

Grainy video, errors and buffering streams weren’t what fans paid $99 to see, according to the class-action lawsuit.

September Regulatory Dates For Broadcasters

Summer is coming to an end, but the legal obligations never take a vacation, and September brings another list of regulatory deadlines for broadcasters. While the month is one of those without the usual list of EEO Public File obligations or quarterly FCC filing obligations, there still are a number of other regulatory deadlines for which broadcasters need to be prepared.

Bill Nye The Science Guy Suing Disney

Appeals Court Upholds VidAngel Injunction

VidAngel, the self-touted family-friendly technology service that burst onto the Hollywood scene with a plan to clean up filthy language, nudity and violence from films and television shows, has suffered yet another blow. On Thursday, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed an injunction in a copyright lawsuit brought by Disney, Fox and Warner Bros.

Kelly Moves To Control Info Trump Sees

The new system laid out by Chief of Staff John Kelly, laid out in two memos circulating in the West Wing this week, is designed to ensure that the president won’t see any reports or documents that haven’t been vetted.

FCC Urged To Release Net Neutrality Complaints

Judge Judy Brags About Strong-Arming CBS

Facing a March 19, 2018, trial start, CBS wants a multi-million dollar lawsuit over profits and salary for Judge Judy dismissed but Judy Sheindlin herself wants the Les Moonves run company to know that she’s the boss.

Sinclair Rebuts Opposition To Tribune Merger

The proposed $3.9 billion transaction has drawn fire from self-appointed “public interest” advocates who believe Sinclair is not committed to local broadcasting; cable and satellite operators who feel the scale will give Sinclair too much leverage in retransmission consent negotiations; and from T-Mobile, which believes Sinclair is trying to slow the repack of the TV band. Sinclair dismisses each of the charges in turn in an FCC filing.

 

STATION ADVISORY

Problems With FCC EAS Filing Deadline

The FCC and FEMA set Sept. 27 as the date for the next nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System. Like last year’s test, all EAS participants must file Form 1 a month before the test. The Form 1 has been modified, however, requiring information that was not requested previously. In addition, the FCC’s Emergency Test Reporting System has been revamped so that prior log in codes do not work and the system’s functionality is now unfamiliar to prior users. As a result, while the Form 1 is technically due next Monday, Aug. 28, anyone who has not yet started the filing process should begin immediately and aim to finish the process this week.

Univision: Lawsuit Intended To Scare Journos

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the Gizmodo Media Group, a division of Univision Communications, has sought to quickly defeat a defamation lawsuit brought over an article published on the sports website Deadspin, saying the complaint is intended to intimidate journalists. WSJ subscribers can read the full story here.

MPAA Wins Copyright Case Vs. Chinese Streamer

STATION ADVISORY

Reminder: ’17 Must-Carry & Retrans Elections

On or before Oct. 1, each full-power commercial television station must make an election between must carry and retransmission consent. In addition, although noncommercial TV stations do not have retransmission consent rights, they must send carriage notices to DBS (and other satellite operators) on or before Oct. 1 in order to obtain (or maintain) carriage on the satellite operator’s system.

COMMENTARY BY PRESTON PADDEN

Ownership Rules, Unintended Consequences

Preston Padden: “I have longtime friends who believe that the public interest requires the FCC to strictly limit the ownership of multiple TV stations. I genuinely understand and respect their opinions. But, my personal experience over 40 years in the industry suggests that TV ownership limits intended to enhance diversity may, in fact, prevent the creation of meaningfully diverse competitors.”