Well of course MMTC is in favor of the FCC’s proposal to consider broadcast transactions that would involve foreign ownership in excess of 25% — it has been pushing for just such a move for years. NAB also weighed in to support the measure.
It’s been nine years, in fact, since MMTC began pushing for the new approach to existing regulation. In essence, instead of treating 25% as a hard ceiling, the FCC will now treat it as a trigger for close scrutiny which may be waived in the public interest. MMTC hopes that the public interest goal served will be increasing minority and female ownership of broadcast licenses by making it easier to find financing.
MMTC said, “This FCC policy reform – the very first new initiative to be voted on by the Wheeler Commission – would make much-needed investment capital available to struggling broadcasters – particularly minority owners. The move would also facilitate American broadcasters’ reciprocal entry into diverse overseas markets hungry for African American, Hispanic American, and Asian American information, music, and culture.”
NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith stated, “NAB applauds the FCC for providing flexibility in Commission rules allowing increased foreign investment in broadcast TV and radio stations. We are especially pleased the FCC recognized that local broadcasters routinely provide ‘local news, Amber Alerts and public safety information’ to serve our communities. Today’s vote provides broadcasters greater access to capital that will allow local stations to continue our indispensable role as the primary purveyor of news, entertainment and lifeline information to the American people.”