According to a report in TVNewsCheck, the Internet and Television Association (NTCA) urged the agency to tighten the rules barring a single company from owning multiple network affiliate stations in the same market. The group wants the FCC to extend the ban beyond the four major broadcast networks to include multicast streams and low-power stations.
The NAB commented on the ownership issue by calling for a lifting of the top-four ban in all markets. “Treating multicast streams, satellites and LPTVs as stations subject to the local TV rule generally, or the top-four stricture specifically, would be arbitrary and capricious because they are not equivalent to the full-service TV stations regulated under the FCC’s ownership rules. The current across-the-board rule is divorced from competitive reality in two important ways,” the NAB stated. “First, the restriction is based on the premise that TV stations only compete for audiences and advertisers against other TV stations in the same market…. Second, [it] fails to take account of actual competitive conditions in any local market.”