Small stations face economic difficulties

In a paper filed with the FCC for its media ownership review, the NAB claimed that the FCC’s current ownership limits inhibit broadcasters’ ability to respond to changing market forces by creating more efficient ownership structures.

According to the NAB report, the average low-rated station in the smallest market size groupings (126+) lost money in 2001, 2003 and 2005. Those in medium-sized markets also experienced losses in 2005.

A relaxation of the television duopoly rule to permit common ownership of two stations in smaller markets would provide needed financial relief for these struggling stations, thereby increasing the strength of local television, the NAB said.