FCC Votes to Streamline TV Satellite Station Reauthorization

WASHINGTON—The FCC today streamlined how television satellite stations are reauthorized when they are assigned or transferred.

By a 5-0 vote, the commissioners voted to reduce the cost and burden of the reauthorization process. Before the vote, assigned or transferred TV satellite stations were required to make the same evidentiary showing needed to be authorized initially.

The new streamlined process can be used when there is no material change to the reason for the satellite station’s existing authorization, the agency said. However, there are certain requirements the FCC established to be eligible to use the new process, including:

  • Certifying the underlying circumstances supporting the existing authorization of the satellite TV station have not materially changed; and
  • Submitting a copy of the most recent written Commission decision granting the existing satellite authorization.

Those who object to a reauthorization have the same opportunities as before to file a petition to deny or informal comments, the agency said.

In comments released following the vote, Commissioner Michael O’Rielly noted he worked to streamline reauthorization for TV satellite stations even if there are changes to parent stations. “Under this item, I am pleased to see this view prevail and that these stations can now benefit from reduced regulatory burdens as well,” he said.

Today’s vote also takes the item off the agenda for the March Open Meeting.

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.