The deadline was Friday for comments in a Federal Communications Commission proceeding to determine whether to continue to count only one-half of a UHF station’s audience reach toward the 39% cap on one broadcast-group owner’s audience reach. The National Association of Broadcasters, for one, said yes ... with a caveat.
In comments filed Friday, NAB argued that because Congress approved the 39% cap increase without modifying the 50% discount, it should remain the law of the land.
NAB did say, however, that the FCC may have to modify it during the transition to digital.
NAB points out that many VHF stations will be reassigned UHF channels in DTV. Since the FCC will try to replicate the VHF’s analog coverage area, “the commission would have to modify the UHF discount so that the change in channel assignments would not have the unintended effect of allowing an increase in station ownership levels beyond those existing today.”