Online political files a month away


FCCThe Federal Register has done its thing as of 7/2/12, meaning that the requirement that television political advertising info must go into online public files is slated to begin 8/2/12, according to the FCC.

The requirement applies to network affiliates in the top 60 DMAs. All other television stations have until 7/1/14 to meet the requirement.

“Specifically,” wrote the FCC, “the Order requires television stations to post their public files online in a central, Commission-hosted online database rather than maintaining paper files locally at their main studios. The Order modernizes the filing process, making it easier for consumers to access information about their broadcast services without having to travel to the station’s main studio.”

The FCC issued the following reminder on what stations are expected to do: “On and after August 2, 2012, broadcasters will post to the online public file any new documents that they determine must be placed in the public file. Broadcasters will have six months after August 2, 2012 to post existing documents that were part of the public file prior to August 2, except in the case of the political file. With respect to the political file only, broadcasters are not required to upload any such documents that were part of their public file prior to August 2 — only new political file documents must be uploaded. In addition, small broadcasters – those that are not affiliated with the top four networks in the top 50 markets – are not required to post their political file documents to their online public file until July 1, 2014.”

RBR-TVBR observation: It’s a cliffhanger! Will the rules really go into effect, or will the NAB successfully defeat the ruling in court, or at least get a stay while the matter is being litigated?