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Upstate NY Station Seeks Waiver to Allow Canadian Ownership

The FCC has published a Notice requesting comment on a proposed transfer of control of a radio station to a Canadian-owned corporation. The Notice involves WLYK(FM) in Cape Vincent. A petition for declaratory ruling has been filed on behalf of Border International Broadcasting, Inc. (BIBI) requesting that the FCC find that it would serve the public interest to allow BIBI to accept foreign investment in excess of the 25% foreign ownership benchmarks set forth in the Communications Act.

Specifically, BIBI seeks a Commission ruling to (1) permit up to 100% aggregate foreign investment (voting and equity) in the company, and (2) specifically approve certain foreign investors to hold more than 5% equity and/or voting interest in BIBI. As detailed in the Notice, 1234567 Corporation (123), as the transferee in the related transfer of control application and as the proposed direct 100% interest holder of BIBI, filed the Petition on behalf of itself, the licensee BIBI, and the individuals and entities that will hold a direct or indirect interest in BIBI.

This is an interesting case and raises important questions about the ability of Canadian entities to invest in American broadcast companies. It could help upstate stations attract additional investors.

You can see the FCC’s Notice here.



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