Time Warner Cable viewers will continue to get WLS-TV
in Racine, Wis.
The FCC this week denied a petition by Hearst-Argyle TV's
ABC affiliate WISN TV there that WLS-TV no
longer qualified as a significantly viewed station.
The network nonduplication and syndicated exclusivity rules
have a significantly-viewed exception for out of market stations that still
have significant in-market, over-the-air viewership. But if a competing station
can show that, for two consecutive years, the imported station has failed to
exceed a 3% share of total viewing hours and a net weekly circulation of 25%.
Hearst had argued that WLS
no longer met the criteria. WLS opposed the
petition and, after both sides offered up evidence on the order of audience
surveys, the FCC concluded that Hearst had not "conclusively
demonstrate[d]" that WLS was no longer