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NAB tries to temper proposed duop restrictions - Broadcasting & Cable

NAB tries to temper proposed duop restrictions

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Disappointed with the Federal Communications Commission's rejection of its "10/10"
proposal for permitting duopolies, the National Association of Broadcasters is
floating a new idea that would relax duopoly restrictions as markets get
smaller.

The NAB continues its high-octane lobbying to further relax changes to TV-duopoly rules proposed by FCC chairman Michael Powell.

His current plan would permit duopolies in any market but forbid pairs
between stations rated among a market's top four.

The NAB and other broadcasters said the new plan doesn't go far enough because few
of the small-market stations that are struggling financially would be able to
pair up.

"Permitting weaker stations to combine would allow them to develop the
resources to remain competitive in those markets," the NAB told the FCC in a filing
Thursday.

As an alternative, the trade group said, the FCC should stick to the "top-four"
prohibition in the 25 largest markets.

In markets 26 through 75, pairs between the top three would be banned, and in markets
76 through 210, combos of the top two would be off limits.

The NAB said it still prefers its 10/10 plan, which would allow pairing of
stations with a share greater than 10 with stations below 10.

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