Editorial: Deep Thoughts in D.C

FCC in no rush to eliminate broadcast exclusivity rules

We applaud the FCC for not rushing to rubber-stamp a proposal to eliminate the broadcast exclusivity rules. The commissioners are still taking meetings, and no consensus has emerged.

As the National Association of Broadcasters pointed out last week, quoting from a Government Accountability Office report on the rules, “The effects of eliminating the exclusivity rules are uncertain because the outcome depends on whether related laws and rules are changed and how industry participants respond.”

The interrelationship of those rules and retransmission consent and the compulsory license suggests that taking away the syndicated exclusivity and network nonduplication rules without balancing that with other actions could result in a Jenga-like cascade of consequences the FCC needs to consider before making its move.