ATVA Applauds the FCC’s Proposed Gray TV Fine
The association representing pay TV operators and independent programmers urged FCC to close ”loopholes” in ownership rules
WASHINGTON—The American Television Alliance (ATVA) has issued a statement applauding the FCC for proposing to fine Gray Television more than $500,000 for violating the commission’s local ownership rules.
“We agree with the FCC that Gray’s manipulation of the local ownership rules was an egregious ‘evasion’ that warrants this fine,” stated ATVA spokesperson, Jessica Kendust. “We hope that today's action is only the beginning of a much closer look at these issues – including consideration of closing all of the other loopholes that broadcasters use to evade the rules.”
The FCC’s local ownership rules prohibit a single entity from owning more than one of the top-four rated stations in a single market, the ATVA said.
According to the FCC, Gray purchased the assets of the CBS Anchorage affiliate and began carrying CBS programming on its second full power affiliate. The FCC called this an "evasion" of its local ownership rules, and it was right to do so, the ATVA asserted.
“Gray’s attempt to cure its violation in Anchorage by then moving the CBS programming from its full power station to the low power station and another feed on its NBC station is just another workaround broadcasters employ to exploit the system,” stated Kendust. “We urge the FCC to close these additional loopholes.”
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George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.