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FCC to Consider Significant Changes to Class A, LPTV, and TV Translator Rules

At its meeting on Thursday, June 6, the FCC will be open a proceeding to look at major changes to the Class A, LPTV, and TV translator rules. The key question is whether the Online Public File requirements that apply to full-service stations should be applied to these other services. The Commission will also look at technical and operational changes to its rules. Specifically, the FCC will be looking to: 

  • Seek comment on whether to require top-four network-affiliated LPTV stations to comply with the same online public file (OPIF) requirements applicable to full power and Class A television stations, or alternatively, whether OPIF requirements should be applied to LPTV stations that are among the top-four TV stations in each market based on the Nielsen ratings.

  • Propose to adopt procedures for LPTV stations to establish an OPIF, and propose to make public inspection and political broadcasting rules applicable to all LPTV stations.

  • Propose technical and operational amendments to our rules, including whether to:

o   Amend the method for calculating the maximum distance that a displaced or channel-sharing station may move under our displacement rule.

o   Clarify the maximum distance that Class A and LPTV/TV translator stations may move under our minor modification rule.

o   Require that Class A and LPTV/TV translator stations specify a community of license within their station’s contour.

o   Adopt minimum operating and defined minimum video program requirements for LPTV stations.

o   Require stations in the LPTV Service seek authority to change designation and maintain a call sign consistent with their class of service.

o   Specify requirements pertaining to emissions masks.

o   Prohibit LPTV/TV translator station operations above TV channel 36.

o   Clarify the circumstances in which LPTV/TV translators stations are eligible for displacement.

These new proposed rules would increase the regulatory burdens placed on these stations. We will watch this proceeding closely. 

You can see the text of the FCC’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking here.



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