02.03.2004 12:00 PM
Senate passes bill setting national audience cap at 39 percent

So now the industry waits –at least for the moment- between rounds in the battle over national audience caps that limit what percentage of U.S. viewers a single network or station group may reach.

The Senate last week voted 65-28 to approve an omnibus spending bill with a provision to set the limit at 39 percent. The House had approved the bill in December.

The 39 percent cap is seen by some as a compromise between the previous cap of 35 percent and the 45 percent cap the FCC instituted as part of a sweeping package of media ownership rule changes in the summer after a 3-2 vote, which fell along party lines.

However, Senate approval of the bill advances the issue only slightly. The matter is still on hold while the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit in Philadelphia decides whether to uphold or overturn the FCC’s changes.

Initially, the 39 percent cap seems most important to Viacom, owner of CBS, and News Corp., which owns the Fox Television Networks. Both currently reach audiences that exceed the old 35 percent cap but fall within the new 39 percent limit. Both were operating under a waiver from the Commission that allowed them to exceed the cap. Whether or not they would be forced to divest of stations if the court rolls back the cap to 35 percent is unclear.

For more information visit www.fcc.gov.

Back to the top

Post New Comment
If you are already a member, or would like to receive email alerts as new comments are
made, please login or register.

Enter the code shown above:

(Note: If you cannot read the numbers in the above
image, reload the page to generate a new one.)

No Comments Found

Tuesday 03:07 PM
WMUR-TV Says FAA Drone Rules Preclude ENG
The FAA’s current rules and proposed ban on flight over people, requirement of visual line of sight and restriction on nighttime flying, effectively prohibit broadcasters from using UAS for newsgathering. ~ WMUR-TV General Manager Jeff Bartlett

D. Pagan Communications /   Friday 10:35 AM
Blue Line is Hot on the Trail of DPA Microphones
Clyne Media, Inc /   Thursday 09:51 PM
Focusrite Expands RedNet Range

Featured Articles
Discover TV Technology