Hey, Radio: What’s Your Status? The FCC Is Asking

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The FCC’s Media Bureau on Monday released a Public Notice that one media broker believes is highly important for every radio industry C-Suite executive to read.


Specifically, the Media Bureau is now seeking comment on “THE STATUS OF COMPETITION IN THE MARKETPLACE FOR DELIVERY OF AUDIO PROGRAMMING.”

What does that mean? Here’s the scoop:

On March 23, President Trump signed into law the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018.

This included the “Repack Airwaves Yielding Better Access for Users of Modern Services Act of 2018,” known by all as the RAY BAUM’S Act of 2018.

Title IV of RAY BAUM’S Act of 2018 amends Section 13 of the Communications Act of 1934 and requires that the Commission publish a Communications Marketplace Report in the last quarter of every even-numbered year.

Among other things, the biennial report requires that the FCC assess the state of competition in the communications marketplace, including competition to deliver audio service among broadcast stations, satellite radio, and entities that provide audio content via the internet and to mobile devices.

“Accordingly, this Public Notice seeks input on the state of competition in the marketplace for the delivery of audio programming as it would relate to the overall goal of providing the required Communications Marketplace Report to Congress,” the Media Bureau notes.

Comments are due 30 days after the date of publication in the Federal Register.
Reply comments are due 45 days after such publication.

The Public Notice requests comment on the criteria or metrics that could be used to evaluate the state of competition in the audio programming marketplace, as well as comment and information on industry data, competitive dynamics, and trending factors.

For example, the Media Bureau said, “commenters are invited to submit the following data and information related to participants in the marketplace for the delivery of audio
programming, including, but not limited to, terrestrial radio broadcasters (i.e., AM and FM radio stations), satellite radio providers, and entities that provide audio programming over the Internet and to mobile devices”:

  • identification and ownership of key Audio Marketplace Participants, as well as the business models and competitive strategies they use
  • trends in service offerings, pricing, and consumer behavior
  • the extent of competition among Audio Marketplace Participants, including intramodal
    competition (i.e., competition among providers of the same type, such as terrestrial radio broadcast stations) and intermodal competition (i.e., competition among providers of different types, such as terrestrial radio broadcast stations and satellite radio providers)
  • ratings, subscriber numbers, and revenue information, for the marketplace as a whole and for individual Audio Marketplace Participants
  • capital investment, innovation, and the deployment of advanced technology
  • requirements for entry into the marketplace
  • recent entry into and exit from the marketplace

Commenters are being encouraged to submit information, data, and statistics for 2016 and 2017, as well as information on any notable trends and developments that have occurred during 2018 to date. Industry stakeholders, the public, and other interested parties are encouraged to submit information, comments and analyses.

In addition, the Public Notice requests comment on whether laws, regulations, regulatory practices or demonstrated marketplace practices pose a barrier to competitive entry into the marketplace for the delivery of audio programming or to the competitive expansion of existing providers.

Further, the Notice seeks input concerning the extent to which any such laws, regulations or marketplace practices affect entry barriers for entrepreneurs and other small businesses in the marketplace for the delivery of audio programming.


RBR+TVBR will inform readers as to the publishing date in the Federal Register and subsequent comment schedule.