The National Association of Media Brokers has filed comments with the FCC explaining that the demand for capital to execute broadcast transactions exceeds the supply. For that reason, willing foreign investors should be invited in to alleviate the imbalance.
Currently the limit on foreign investment stands at 25%. Groups hoping to increase diversity of broadcast license ownership have been pushing for an influx of foreign money for some time, and the position has been endorsed by the NAB.
NAMB explained how financing sources that previously served the broadcast transaction space have exited, and as yet there has not been a significant return from past capital sources nor the entry of new ones. This has been a particularly difficult hurdle for new entrants into the broadcasting business to clear.
Media Services Group broker Jody McCoy, who also serves as President of NAMB, said, “While the values of broadcast stations have moderated and increasingly more and more persons and companies wish to grow their companies or make first time acquisitions, unfortunately the supply of capital is not enough to satisfy the demand. Our membership believes it’s time to invite foreign capital to the table, just as it is invited in most every other medium.”
Added NAB VP and Jorgenson Broadcast Brokerage founder Mark Jorgenson, “As our comments state,” said Jorgenson, ‘Specialized broadcasters, with targeted programming to serve racial and ethnic minorities, are particularly likely to see new sources of funding should the enforcement of the alien ownership restrictions be relaxed, as foreign investors trying to reach those members of their ethnic communities are natural sources of funding for U.S. broadcast investments.”