The Federal Communications Commission today announced its intent to fine a television station $325,000 — the maximum penalty available — for airing less than three seconds of a pornographic video on a small portion of the screen during an evening newscast. The Notice of Apparent Liability is a reminder of the FCC’s continued vigorous enforcement… Continue Reading
On December 19, the FCC released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) relating to the designation of certain online video programming distributors as “multichannel video programming distributors” (MVPDs) under the Communications Act. This NPRM raises important and complex issues for the content community and has implications for other statutory regimes as well as existing program… Continue Reading
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
Last week, the FCC released a Public Notice (“PN”), following up on its July Public Notice, concerning the software to be used during the Incentive Auction to determine whether the acceptance of each bid from a broadcaster will result in a feasible, and optimal, repacking process.
Earlier today, the FCC placed on public notice two petitions requesting that the agency clarify or forbear from enforcing certain aspects of its new TCPA regulations that went into effect on October 16, 2013. Those regulations, which we summarized here, created, among other things, a new “prior express written consent” requirement for the transmission of… Continue Reading
On October 18, 2013, the FCC issued a Public Notice confirming the deadlines to submit comments and reply comments to refresh the record in the FCC’s pending “cramming” proceeding. Comments are due by November 18 and reply comments are due by December 2, 2013.
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
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
Continuing its efforts to license spectrum for mobile broadband uses consistent with the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, the FCC announced that it will auction spectrum licenses to the H Block by January 14, 2014. The H Block spectrum will be used for flexible-use services, including mobile broadband, and expand… Continue Reading
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
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.
A seller who authorizes a third-party telemarketer to market the seller’s goods or services may be held vicariously liable if the telemarketer violates the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), the Federal Communications Commission held in a May 9 declaratory ruling. The FCC’s ruling interprets two subsections of the TCPA. The first subsection — 47 U.S.C…. Continue Reading
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
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
Yesterday, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) handed down a $240,000 forfeiture order against IT Connect, Inc., a company that the FCC found had violated the prohibition on brokering toll-free telephone numbers. In its order, the FCC confirmed that it is unlawful for private entities to sell toll-free numbers for a fee, and it applied the… Continue Reading
Last week, the FCC for the first time proposed to fine companies for using mobile phone signal jamming devices. The FCC found that two entities, Taylor Oilfield Manufacturing, Inc. and The Supply Room, Inc., willfully and repeatedly imported and operated multiple illegal mobile phone signal jammers in the U.S. Although the FCC in the past… Continue Reading
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
The public-facing portion of the FCC’s online public inspection file system for broadcast TV stations apparently was unavailable for part of the day on Wednesday. Although the outage was fairly brief — we first saw the error below late in the morning, and we could access the system again by mid-afternoon — it is a reminder that… Continue Reading
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
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
The Federal Communications Commission sought comment, in connection with the incentive auction and repacking process reported in previous posts, on whether to relocate wireless medical telemetry service (“WMTS”) users from the 608-614 MHz spectrum band, known as Channel 37, or allow unlicensed devices to coexist with WMTS on Channel 37. The proposal elicited comments by… Continue Reading
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
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently issued an enforcement advisory reminding wireless service providers and resellers that they must report on their compliance with the hearing aid compatibility rules by January 15, 2013. Under FCC rules, most wireless service providers must offer consumers a minimum number of hearing-aid compatible phones or other handsets. The purpose… Continue Reading
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently proposed requiring that when broadcast television stations or cable/satellite companies display emergency information visually during non-news programming, they must provide the same information aurally on a “secondary” audio stream. When viewers tune to a channel, they ordinarily hear the primary audio stream; the secondary audio stream can be used to provide… Continue Reading