Comment and Reply Dates Extended for Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to Modify or Eliminate the National Television Audience Reach Cap and UHF Discount. The Media Bureau extends the deadlines for comments and reply comments in the above-captioned rulemaking proceeding until March 19, 2018, and April 18, 2018.
On December 14, 2017, the Commission adopted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) initiating a comprehensive review of the national television audience reach cap, including the so-called UHF discount used by broadcasters to determine compliance with the cap. The Commission set deadlines for filing comments and reply comments at 30 and 60 days, respectively, after publication of the NPRM in the Federal Register. A summary of the NPRM was published in the Federal Register on January 26, 2018, thus requiring comments and reply comments to be submitted by February 26, 2018, and March 27, 2018, respectively. In addition to seeking comment on the initial question of the Commission’s authority to modify or eliminate the national audience reach cap and UHF discount, the NPRM asks many complex factual and policy questions about changed market conditions, effects on competition and diversity in local and national broadcast television broadcast markets, and the appropriate methodology for determining compliance with any retained national cap. The NPRM also requests analysis of the costs and benefits of modifying or eliminating the national cap and UHF discount, supported by “relevant economic theory and evidence, including empirical analysis and data.