FCC report of informal consumer inquiries, complaints reveals mixed bag for broadcasters

The number informal consumer inquiries and complaints processed by the FCC regarding radio and TV broadcasting in the fourth quarter of last year was a mixed bag, according to a commission report released this week.

According to the figures, the number of broadcast-related inquiries for the quarter fell by about 14 percent to 5449 when compared to Q3 2009, while the number of complaints rose to 9740, an increase of 45 percent from the preceding quarter. The commission statistics revealed that more than 53 percent of the broadcast-related inquiries dealt with programming issues.

Inquiries related to cable and satellite TV climbed 8 percent in the fourth quarter of last year compared to the Q3 2009 total of 3981. Nearly half of the inquiries dealt with issues related to billing and rates.

The FCC compiles the statistics for four categories of service: radio and TV broadcasting; cable and satellite TV; wireless phone service; and wireline phone service.