FCC Reinstates Pre-August 2016 Status Quo in Broadcaster Marketplace
The Federal Communications Commission voted to reinstate the so-called “UHF discount” until the Commission can address its national television ownership rule more holistically, in a proceeding to be launched later in 2017. The action effectively returns the marketplace to the status quo that existed prior to August 2016, whereby stations broadcasting in the UHF spectrum are permitted to count 50 percent of the television households in their market when determining compliance with the 39 percent national cap.
The FCC now concludes that the UHF discount and national television ownership cap are inextricably linked and that the Commission’s previous decision erred by getting rid of the UHF discount without simultaneously considering whether the cap itself should be modified. The Commission plans to take up both the question of the 39 percent cap and the UHF discount later in 2017. Until then, the action taken today reinstates the pre-August 2016 status quo in the marketplace.
FCC Reinstates Pre-August 2016 Status Quo in Broadcaster Marketplace FCC eases restriction on media ownership (The Hill) FCC Restores UHF Discount (B&C)