The FCC is seeking comment on the national television audience reach cap, including the discount afforded to UHF stations. The national television audience reach cap limits entities from owning or controlling television stations that, in the aggregate, reach more than 39 percent of the television households in the country. Earlier this year, the FCC reinstated a component of the rule, the so-called UHF discount, which provides a 50 percent discount to UHF stations for purposes of calculating compliance with the 39 percent audience reach cap. In reinstating the discount, the FCC found that the national audience reach cap and UHF discount are inextricably linked. Thus the earlier decision to eliminate the discount, effectively tightening the cap without determining whether such tightening was in the public interest, was arbitrary and capricious and unwise from a public policy perspective. This NPRM undertakes a broader assessment of the national audience reach cap as a whole, including the UHF discount, in light of increased video programming options for consumers, technological developments, and other factors. The FCC is seeking comment on the Commission’s authority to modify or eliminate the national cap, including the UHF discount. They also seek comment on whether to modify or eliminate the current 39 percent national audience reach cap and how parties should determine compliance with the cap, including whether we should eliminate the UHF discount.
Attachments:Notice of Proposed Rulemakiing [223 KB PDF]
Statement from Chairman Pai [92 KB PDF]
Statement from Commissioner Clyburn [112 KB PDF]
Statement from Commissioner ORielly [73 KB PDF]
Statement from Commissioner Carr [48 KB PDF]
Statement from Commissioner Rosenworcel [47 KB PDF]