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Category Archives: Broadcasting & Cable

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D.C. Circuit Grants Stay in Battle Over Access to Content Companies’ Confidential Information

Posted in Broadcasting & Cable

The FCC was set to release today hundreds of thousands of pages of highly confidential documents — including unredacted programming distribution agreement materials and negotiating strategy documents — for inspection by third parties as part of the Commission’s review of the Comcast-Time Warner Cable and AT&T-DIRECTV mergers.  On Friday, November 14, however, a coalition of… Continue Reading

FCC Establishes Quality Standards for Closed Captioning

Posted in Broadcasting & Cable

By Daniel Kahn and Paul Swain The FCC has adopted new rules regarding closed captioning quality for television programming.  At its meeting yesterday, the Commission unanimously approved a Report & Order that will establish four “non-quantitative” quality standards for closed captioning, requiring captions to be (1) accurate, (2) synchronous, (3) complete, and (4) properly placed. … Continue Reading

Court Strikes Net Neutrality Rules, Leaves Path for Other Broadband Regulations

Posted in Broadcasting & Cable, Telecommunications

A federal appeals court struck down key parts of the Federal Communications Commission’s Open Internet Order in a Jan. 14 decision, ruling that the FCC’s “net neutrality” rules improperly regulate broadband providers like “common carriers” — such as providers of traditional telephone service — even though the FCC has classified broadband providers as not subject… Continue Reading

FCC Proposes $200,000 Fine For Simulated EAS Codes

Posted in Broadcasting & Cable

The FCC has proposed fining Turner Broadcasting System $200,000 for allegedly transmitting simulated Emergency Alert System (EAS) codes 14 times over a six day period in the absence of an actual emergency.   Two viewers complained that an advertisement that aired on Turner’s Adult Swim Network (which shares channel airtime with the Cartoon Network) contained audio… Continue Reading

Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Aereo

Posted in Broadcasting & Cable

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear litigation between broadcasters and Aereo, a streaming service that retransmits broadcast programming without consent or payment.  Broadcasters argue that Aereo infringes their exclusive right to publicly perform copyrighted works.  Aereo contends that its system uses one antenna per subscriber to provide each user a separate copy of… Continue Reading

Oral Arguments Tee Up Widely Anticipated 9th Circuit Decision in “Aereokiller” Case

Posted in Broadcasting & Cable, Intellectual Property

A three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments on Tuesday in the so-called “Aereokiller” litigation.  The case tests whether services that allow subscribers to stream broadcast television on their computers and mobile devices infringe the exclusive right of copyright owners to publicly perform their copyrighted works.  Specifically, the Ninth Circuit… Continue Reading

FCC Extends Commenting Period on Closed Captioning Issues

Posted in Broadcasting & Cable

Recently, the FCC extended the time for interested parties to comment on certain closed captioning issues.  In a recent Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, the FCC announced that it is seeking comment on two issues related to its captioning rules: (1) possible synchronization requirements for devices covered by the FCC closed captioning rules and (2)… Continue Reading

Deadline Nears for Online Captioning of Full-Length Programming Edited For Internet Distribution

Posted in Broadcasting & Cable

Under the Internet closed captioning requirements established by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), after certain triggering deadlines, video programming shown on television with captions in the United States and distributed in full-length form over Internet Protocol (IP) must be provided with captions online.  Beginning on September 30, 2013, the IP closed captioning requirements will apply… Continue Reading

SpectrumWatch: Congress, FCC Consider Options for TV Spectrum Repacking, Cable Pricing

Posted in Broadcasting & Cable, Spectrum & Mobile

A congressional subcommittee held an oversight hearing Tuesday addressing the Federal Communications Commission’s progress in setting rules for the upcoming incentive auction of television broadcast spectrum for mobile broadband use. On Monday, the FCC released a Public Notice addressing one aspect of those rules, which would govern how TV stations that do not sell their… Continue Reading

Senators, Justice Department Voice Support for Expanding Journalists’ Protections

Posted in Broadcasting & Cable, Privacy & Data Security

A group of senators announced on Wednesday that they would renew their push for federal legislation to limit the ability of federal authorities to compel journalists to reveal information about or obtained from confidential sources, after the U.S. Department of Justice announced it would tighten its own standards for when to seek such information. The… Continue Reading

FCC Seeks Comment on Video Description

Posted in Broadcasting & Cable

The Media Bureau of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is seeking comments by September 4 on issues related to video description, which is the transmission of a secondary audio track describing the visible action in video programming for the benefit of individuals who are blind or visually impaired.  Under FCC rules, local TV station affiliates… Continue Reading

Appeals Court Finds that Retransmission Consent Agreement Allows Time Warner to Rebroadcast Nexstar Signals Across Entire System

Posted in Broadcasting & Cable

The Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit found that the retransmission consent agreement between Nexstar Broadcasting Inc. and Time Warner Cable, Inc. allows Time Warner to rebroadcast the signals of three television stations owned by Nexstar without any geographic restriction across its entire system.  Rejecting Nexstar’s request for an injunction to stop Time Warner… Continue Reading

FCC: NCE Stations May Seek Waivers to Fundraise for Oklahoma Tornado Victims

Posted in Broadcasting & Cable

On Tuesday, the FCC announced procedures for noncommercial educational (“NCE”) broadcast stations to informally request waivers allowing the stations to raise relief funds for victims of Monday’s Oklahoma tornado.  Although under FCC rules NCE stations are generally prohibited from engaging in fundraising activities for entities other than the stations themselves, the Commission has historically granted waivers to stations engaging… Continue Reading

SpectrumWatch: FCC Draws Criticism on Band Plan Proposals

Posted in Broadcasting & Cable, Spectrum & Mobile, Telecommunications

A joint statement released today by AT&T, the National Association of Broadcasters, and Verizon criticized the FCC for seeking comments on new proposals for reorganizing the spectrum currently used by television broadcasters, which the statement said would go against the “growing consensus” of the broadcast and wireless industries.

SpectrumWatch: FCC Considers Alternative Band Plans for Post-Incentive Auction Spectrum

Posted in Broadcasting & Cable, Spectrum & Mobile, Telecommunications

In a Public Notice released yesterday, the Federal Communications Commission asked for comments on several possible plans for reorganizing the spectrum currently used by television broadcasters. Initial comments are due June 14, with reply comments due June 28. Under a statute passed last year, broadcast television stations will be allowed to voluntarily participate in an… Continue Reading

Leadership Changes at the Federal Communications Commission

Posted in Broadcasting & Cable, Telecommunications

Change is in the air at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).  The agency’s chairman, Julius Genachowski, announced yesterday that he will be stepping down on Friday, May 17.  (He had announced his plans to leave the FCC in March, but the date of his departure has been uncertain since then.)  Until his successor is confirmed… Continue Reading

FCC Adopts Rules Requiring Emergency Information Provided During Non-News Programming To Be Conveyed on Secondary Audio Stream

Posted in Broadcasting & Cable

New rules adopted by the FCC require that when television stations in the U.S. display emergency information visually during non-news programming, they must provide the same information aurally on a secondary audio stream. The new rules do not change the requirement that emergency information provided visually during newscasts be conveyed aurally on primary audio. The… Continue Reading

March 30, 2013, Deadline Nears for Online Captioning of Live and Near-Live Programming

Posted in Broadcasting & Cable

Under the Internet closed captioning requirements established by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), after certain triggering deadlines, video programming shown on television with captions in the United States and distributed in full-length form over Internet Protocol (IP) must be provided with captions online.  Beginning on March 30, 2013, the IP closed captioning requirements will apply… Continue Reading

Annual Employment Report Requirement For Broadcasters and MVPDs Back in Effect

Posted in Broadcasting & Cable

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has published a notice in the Federal Register that the requirement to file an Annual Employment Report is effective immediately.  This requirement — entailing the filing of an FCC Form 395-A for multichannel video programming distribution systems (MVPDs) and an FCC Form 396-B for broadcasters — was adopted years ago,… Continue Reading

Commenters Debate FCC Proposals on Ownership Reporting

Posted in Broadcasting & Cable

Interested parties have filed comments at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regarding proposed changes to the requirements for ownership reports.  In a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking released in January, the FCC asked for comment on several issues related to the ownership reports filed by broadcast licensees and by others with attributable interests in licensees. Among… Continue Reading

SpectrumWatch: 3 Key Areas of Industry Agreement Regarding the FCC’s Spectrum Auction and Repacking Proposals

Posted in Broadcasting & Cable, Spectrum & Mobile, Telecommunications

The Federal Communications Commission received over 300 comments from the public regarding its proposals to allow broadcast television stations to voluntarily participate in an auction of their spectrum to mobile broadband providers and to involuntarily repack remaining television stations into a smaller television spectrum band.  Broadcast television station groups, individual stations, mobile broadband providers, wireless… Continue Reading