News-Press & Gazette Company and Journal Broadcast Corporation aren’t the smallest station groups out there, but they’re smaller than NBC, CBS and Time Warner Cable. And Palm Springs CA is certainly a smaller media market than Los Angeles. But the little fish have successfully enforced non-duplication rules against KNBC and KCBS.
One of the interesting facts in the case is that neither NBC nor CBS complained in this case, but Time Warner Cable opposed the efforts of the two smaller companies.
Journal owned NBC KMIR in the Palm Springs DMA, and News-Press owns ABC KMIR.
They asked the FCC to enforce their territory and prevent the entrance of duplicative programming from the big Los Angeles stations in the communities of Palm Springs, Indio, Cathedral City, Coachella and Desert Hot Springs.
They were able to cite Nielsen date showing very low levels of over-air viewing of the stations in those communities, demonstrating that they did not meet basic “significantly-viewed” thresholds to enable full carriage over Palm Springs MVPDs.
TWC had argued that it has carried KNBC for a long time and requires the station because a significant number of subscribers in Palm Springs are also residents of Los Angeles and strongly desire access to that station. It questioned the date, and it also argued that the two petitioners didn’t have standing in the case of KCBS since neither was a CBS affiliate; further, it stated that it was a moot point because it hasn’t carried KCBS in the Palm Spring DMA since 2008.
The FCC said the data supporting the petition was proper; the parties noted that their mutual standing vs. KCBS was not based on network programming but rather on syndicated programming on the station; and they further stated they were simply enforcing their turf against KCBS to prevent its possible reintroduction into their DMA.
The FCC agreed with News-Press and Journal.
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