The FCC has granted requests from five commercial and public TV broadcasters for permission to test next-gen TV broadcasts from the transmission facilities of Univision’s KFPH-CD Phoenix, which began ATSC 3.0 broadcasts last March.
On Wednesday afternoon, the FCC announced that its C-band earth station registration deadline has been extended to Oct. 31.
In the turnabout is fair play department, the American Cable Association has told the FCC that if it accepts a joint proposal by cable operators and broadcasters to allow TV stations to make their carriage elections by email rather than certified letter, it should do the same for requirements that cable operators send notices to TV stations by certified mail.
Univision has sent a letter to the heads of the FCC and Federal Trade Commission buttressing its case that Dish continued to market the channels that had gone dark on the satellite service. The two are embroiled in a retransmission consent impasse that has resulted in Dish not carrying Univision, UniMas and Galavision since the end of June.
The FCC has agreed to modify the Atlanta designated market area to allow four Atlanta stations to be imported into Hart County, Ga. Hart is a previously “orphan” county that, because it was in a South Carolina Nielsen market (Greenville-Spartanburg-Asheville-Anderson), got network affiliates from that state rather than Georgia.
FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly pitched Kentucky broadcasters on his proposal to deregulate children’s TV rules. Generally broadcasters support a lighter touch, but O’Rielly’s pitch was delivered with some tough love. In a speech to the Kentucky Broadcasters Association, O’Rielly ticked off stats showing that kids are increasingly tuning in to mobile devices and tablets for content and less to kids TV.
The National Association of Broadcasters is circulating a policy paper on Capitol Hill advocating for not renewing the STELAR law (Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act) when it expires at the end of 2019. STELAR reauthorizes the satellite compulsory distant signal license for five years. But last time around it was also a vehicle for some cable-friendly changes to retrans, including renewing the FCC’s enforcement of good faith retrans negotiations and extending the commission’s prohibition on coordinated retrans negotiations among noncommonly owned TV stations in a market from the top four to all stations.
As of Monday, the FCC’s lone administrative law judge had still not weighed in as to whether he will shut down the designated hearing on allegations that Sinclair Broadcast Group misled the agency about its proposed $3.9 billion purchase of Tribune Media, leaving that serious “lack of candor” charge hanging over the company.
In this hot political advertising year, it’s worth reviewing some of the online public file issues broadcasters are facing and what exactly needs to be maintained in the file.
Intelsat, SES, Eutelsat and Telesat have formed the C-band Alliance to figure out how they can clear some of their satellite spectrum for resale to wireless carriers without disrupting service to current users, which include TV networks. Bill Tolpegin and Preston Padden, speculators in the FCC’s incentive auction, are heading the alliance.