The UHF discount allows commercial broadcast television station owners to discount the audience reach of UHF stations when calculating their compliance with the national television ownership rule. It is thus inextricably linked to the national ownership cap. When the Commission voted to get rid of the discount, however, it failed to consider whether this defacto tightening of the national cap was in the public interest and justified by current marketplace conditions. This mistake renders the past action arbitrary and capricious. It also means that it was unwise from a public policy perspective. Thus the commission is reinstating the UHF discount for the time being and will launch a comprehensive rule making proceeding later this year to determine whether to retain it and/or modify the national cap. Because they are reinstating the UHF discount, requests to reconsider and modify the grandfathering provisions applicable to broadcast station combinations affected by elimination of the discount are dismissed as moot. For the same reason, the claim that failure to consider the need for a VHF discount in conjunction with elimination of the UHF discount is in error is also dismissed as moot.
Attachments:Order of Reconsideration [186 KB PDF]
Statement from Chairman Pai [75 KB PDF]
Statement from Commissioner Clyburn [102 KB PDF]
Statement from Commissioner O'Rielly [69 KB PDF]