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US: FCC plans to relax broadcast TV ownership rules

 |  April 2, 2017

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai may be planning to restore the UHF station discount that will relax the ownership rules for broadcasters.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the commission is set to announce its plans today. The move would reverse a decision by the previous FCC to remove the UHF discount that reduced how much lower-power UHF stations counted toward the broadcast TV ownership cap.

Last year, the FCC changed the UHF discount governing ownership rules for broadcast stations so that UHF stations would now have to count 100% of their reach toward the cap, instead of the previous 50%.

Since that time, broadcasters like CBS have urged the FCC to reinstate the UHF discount before making any further reforms on the ownership rules that currently cap a broadcast station group’s national audience reach at 39%.

The potential move by the FCC would fulfill the wishes of many broadcasters looking to acquire more stations. Broadcasters including CBS and Nexstar—which recently completed a $4.4 billion acquisition of Media General—are looking to grow in order to better compete.

Full Content: Wall Street Journal

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