PBS, APTS Push Broadcast Internet Benefits To FCC


On October 16, Lonna Thompson, the Executive VP, General Counsel and Chief Operating Officer for America’s Public Television Stations (APTS); and Talia Rosen, Assistant General Counsel and Senior Director, Standards and Practices of the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), met by phone with a Media Bureau Policy Division staffer to discuss the importance of both linear broadcast and Broadcast Internet services under Section 73.621 of its rules.

It’s squarely focused on distant learning broadcast datacasting initiatives — something that could positively impact every broadcast TV station.

Thompson and Rosen spoke with the FCC’s Lyle Elder. As part of the conversation, an ex parte brief was filed with the Commission regarding public television distant learning broadcast datacasting initiatives.

APTS and PBS took this opportunity to ask that the Commission exempt public television stations from paying the ancillary and supplementary fee regarding revenue derived from the provision of public television stations’ nonprofit public service activities. The statutory requirement to collect fees relates to revenue derived from “commercial use” pursuant to Section 336(e)(2)(a), they say.

Further, when the revenue is used to support noncommercial services that are in the public interest, APTS and PBS believe there is no need to “recover” anything else for the public, as the revenue is already devoted to that purpose.

Lastly, the revenues devoted to supporting noncommercial public service activities, not inuring to any private entity, would not result in any unjust enrichment, Thompson and Rosen state.

To view the two-page Ex Parte filing in full, please click here.