FCC Takes Aim at Streamlining TV Satellite Reauthorizations

WASHINGTION—The FCC has adopted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to streamline how TV satellite stations are reauthorized when they are assigned or transferred along with their approved parent station. The rulemaking, the eighth undertaken since the FCC launched its Modernization of Media Regulation Initiative in 2017, proposes to undo rules requiring the new owner in a transfer or assignment to seek reauthorization of TV satellite stations, which involves the same evidentiary showing needed for the initial authorization.

The FCC is asking for comment on ways to reduce the cost and burdens of seeking a TV satellite station reauthorization. One approach might be requiring a certification process for applicants while maintaining the FCC’s ability to ensure reauthorizations are in the public interest. It also seeks comment on whether to apply any new streamlined process adopted by the agency to transactions involving a change in the parent of the satellite station.

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TV satellite stations are full-power terrestrial broadcast stations the retransmit some or all of the programming of a commonly owned parent station. They are excluded from broadcast ownership limits.

More information is available on the FCC website.

Phil Kurz

Phil Kurz is a contributing editor to TV Tech. He has written about TV and video technology for more than 30 years and served as editor of three leading industry magazines. He earned a Bachelor of Journalism and a Master’s Degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism.