FCC's TV JSA Limit Kicks In June 19

Broadcasters still pondering whether to take FCC to court over that and other moves
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The FCC's attribution as ownership interest of TV joint sales agreements of over 15% of a brokered stations weekly ad time takes effect June 19.

The FCC's final rule was published in the Federal Register May 20, triggering the effective date.

The FCC voted on March 31 to tighten the JSA rules on TV, as it had in the 1990s with radio JSAs.

Broadcasters have not been happy with the FCC's moves to tighten JSAs or its signal—through Media Bureau guidance—that henceforth, in reviewing license transfers or assignments with associated financial agreements, it would scrutinize all sharing arrangements based on how they operate and the incentives they create.

The National Association of Broadcasters last week sued the FCC over that guidance. An NAB spokesperson was not available to comment on whether it would follow suit, as it were, with the JSA item.

In other Federal Register news, the FCC's prohibition on coordinated retransmission consent negotiations among any of the top four stations in a market—by audience reach--takes effect June 18. No word on whether NAB will challenge that ruling either, but it was another FCC ownership move that drew boos from that quarter.

Broadcasters have been arguing that rather than make it harder for them to team up in a world of consolidating competitors, the FCC should loosen regs to level the marketplace and better demonstrate the commission is serious about wanting a vibrant broadcasting business coming out of the incentive auctions to which broadcasters are being encouraged to give up spectrum.

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