NAB weighs in on FCC ownership proposal


FCC Chairman Kevin Martin’s modest rule change proposals do not go nearly far enough, in the opinion of the National Association of Broadcasters. In filed comments, NAB says that one modification, allowing cross-ownership in the top 20 markets, presumes that they are not in the public interest in other markets. It argues that the record amply supports eliminating the restriction on such pairings anywhere and everywhere, and that the age of the rule (dating back to 1975) and the length of time it’s been under review (since 1996) indicate it is both ripe for modification and more than sufficiently scrutinized.
It further argues that it is time for easing restrictions on local television duopolies, particularly in the face of competition from multiple MVPD services. It notes that the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit called the rules arbitrary and capricious back in 2002.

As to radio ownership caps, it supports retention of current levels at a minimum, and "urges the Commission to consider the continued relaxation of the local radio limitations set by Congress over a decade ago in a less competitive and diverse media marketplace."