FCC’s JSA Rules For Radio Staying Put Under Pai

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As part of his written response to an inquiry from leading Democrats on the House E&C Committee, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai affirmed that its television Joint Sales Agreement (JSA) attribution rule will be up for reconsideration.


While that will likely impact the broadcast TV industry and media brokers, radio industry’s C-Suite need not fret about any changes to its JSA regulations.

On Aug. 10, 2016, the Commission issued an order resolving the 2010 and 2014
broadcast ownership quadrennial review proceedings.

Subsequently, several parties filed petitions for reconsideration of various aspects of this order—including the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), Nexstar Broadcasting (now Nexstar Media Group) and Connoisseur Media.

Both the television Joint Sales Agreement (JSA) attribution rule and the local television ownership rule­, among others, were raised in one or more of the petitions for reconsideration before the Commission.

This means that the FCC is obligated to rule on those petitions at some point.

With respect to altering the current radio JSA attribution rule, which has been in place since 2003, “I have no plans to start a proceeding, nor has any party made such a request,” Pai noted in Pai’s response to an August letter sent by a trio of leading House E&C Committee Democrats seeking answers as to the Commission’s discussions — and possible influence-peddling — in Sinclair Broadcast Group’s planned merger with Tribune Media.

Thus, ownership rule reform at the FCC will at present focus on TV industry needs.

With regard to issues involving the national television ownership cap, including whether the UHF discount should be eliminated, Pai said, “I have publicly stated that I intend to commence consideration of those issues through a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking by the end of the year.”

With three Open Meeting agendas forthcoming before New Year’s Day, the clock is ticking, and the TV industry is likely salivating.