Broadcasters Ask FCC to Loosen Ownership Regulations

As Comcast makes its case that owning a 51 percent stake in NBC Universal will be good for everybody, broadcasters are making a similar case that loosening media ownership rules will help them compete in a digital, multichannel environment. In comments to the Federal Communications Commission Monday (July 12), the National Association of Broadcasters called for modest reform of the rules, including the elimination of cross-ownership rules and reform of the TV duopoly rule.
The NAB’s comments were filed as part of the FCC’s quadrennial review of the media ownership rules, a process officially begun in late May.
In addition to urging the FCC to eliminate newspaper-broadcast and radio-TV cross ownership rules, the NAB also made the case that the FCC should allow TV duopolies in markets of all sizes. The broadcasting lobby also called for relaxation of the local radio ownership rules.
“Simply put, it is untenable to maintain broadcast-only restrictions on the assumption that common ownership of stations could somehow reduce the ability of consumers to access diverse information or harm competition in the information marketplace,” the NAB wrote in its filing.