Regulating PPM


Couldn’t disagree with you more, on the comment that the FCC has no oversight over PPM.

To reiterate, PPM is a mysterious box that is injected onto the audio lines of a broadcaster.  It’s supposedly invisible to the ear, but visible to their pager-sized meter box, which measures the audience.
This is not programming or content, this is some voodoo ‘inaudible’ data stream, and nobody is willing to say if it’s only there between pauses, once every 15 minutes, or on all the time.
If you say the FCC has no oversight on PPM, it’s like saying they have nothing to do with the stereo generator in the audio processor, or nothing to do with the Musak subcarrier on a station, or specifying which mode of digital radio your station will adopt. 
A broadcaster that brokers foreign languages on his station, at least knows the content of those shows…I hope.  You wouldn’t let a new show on the air, without making it clear that you control the license, and have you certain rules.  Yet, this is not the case with PPM.  Many do not know the mode or frequency of its operation.  They just give in to the Swami or Guru who sold them on the idea.  And, I might add, this applies to the NAVE system for TV from Nielsen.
Of course the FCC has authority over this mode of operation.  To think otherwise, is foolish.  By the way, sometime in the next ten years, you’ll be reading about the station that beat the PPM system and went from #14 to #1 in one month…and you don’t want the FCC to investigate that? 
Mark Heller
President and Gen. Mgr.
WGBW Radio
Two Rivers, WI

RBR/TVBR observation: No, we would not want the FCC to investigate why a station went from #14 to #1. The MRC might want to investigate. The FCC would have no idea how to investigate.

Yes, the FCC does have the authority to determine whether PPM encoding complies with its engineering regulations. That is where its authority ends.