The FCC issued a rulemaking last summer ordering stations engaged in local joint sales agreements to break up the arrangement in certain cases. A bill has just been introduced in the Senate that would grandfather agreements already in existence.
The bill comes from Roy Blunt (R-MO).
The purpose of the bill is to “…exempt application of JSA attribution rule in case of existing agreements.”
It states that any party involved in such an arrangement prior to the effective date of the new policy would not be considered to be in violation of it.
NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith stated, “”NAB applauds Sens. Blunt, Schumer, Mikulski and Scott for introducing legislation that would overturn the FCC’s decision to restrict broadcaster sales agreements. It is sheer folly for the FCC to ban two TV stations in cities as small as Wichita from sharing services that can help preserve and enhance localism. Broadcasters look forward to working closely with these congressional leaders to advance legislation that will help free and local broadcasters remain competitive.”
RBR+TVBR observation: This is definitely good news for a lot of television companies. But it doesn’t do much good as a bill – let’s see if it can be made into a law…