[opendtv] Re: News: Telecom Bill? Bet on It, Says Barton

  • From: "Manfredi, Albert E" <albert.e.manfredi@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 3 Apr 2006 12:10:21 -0400

Craig Birkmaier wrote:

> You need to be careful about mixing Apples and Oranges.
> There is a world of difference between the business of
> creating content and the business of distributing it.
> The problem lies when an oligopoly has its fingers in
> both pies, as is the case for the conglomerates that
> own the broadcast networks.

Here is the updated summary on ownersip rules that apply to OTA radio
and TV broadcasters, and newspaper ownership:


The national cap subset of these rules is:

National TV Ownership Rule (1941)

When the FCC first adopted national ownership restrictions for
television broadcast stations in 1941, it put numerical limits on the
number of stations that could be commonly-owned. The rule has been
amended a number of times thereafter to increase the permitted level of
common ownership. Currently, the national TV ownership rule prohibits an
entity from owning television stations that would reach more than 39% of
U.S. television households. "Reach" is defined as the number of
television households in the TV DMA to which each owned station is
assigned. All TV households in the DMA are attributed to VHF stations;
50% of TV households in the DMA are attributed to UHF stations.

In 2002, a federal Court of Appeals reversed the FCC's decision in 2000
to retain a national television ownership limit, and sent the rule back
to the FCC for further consideration.

Note the use of "any entity" to describe to what type of OTA
broadcasting business these national caps apply. Seems to me this is a
lot more stringent than:

"The legislation has already been made more cable-friendly by the
excising of two provisions in an earlier draft that would not have
allowed cable to seek a national franchise until a competitor had
penetrated 15% of the market ..."

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