FCC Media Bureau Chief Bill Lake told attendees at NAB’s annual Garvey Schubert Barer breakfast that while the 3/31 vote that granted Chairman Wheeler’s wish to crank down JSAs to selling no more than 15% of another station’s inventory commercial time is not a veiled push to get more broadcasters to participate in the upcoming spectrum auction.
Lake said they are not trying to drive broadcasters into the spectrum auction and to check the logic: “Most of these JSAs are in smaller markets. It’s the larger markets where we need the spectrum. Nonetheless, he’s still hopeful the auction will add capacity for broadband.
Lake also noted paring down JSAs was originally proposed by the Commission in 2004.
Clearing up some confusion, Lake said broadcasters get waivers to continue JSAs if 1) The sharing deals don’t result in a broker TV station getting undue influence over a brokered TV station’s content and programming, or 2) The deals serve the public interest in a way as to warrant special consideration. But that special consideration remains to be detailed.