NAB and FCC Commissioners Share Policy Priorities

LAS VEGAS, NV – The National Association of Broadcasters and Federal Communications Commissioners Geoffrey Starks, Michael O’Reilly, and Brendan Carr provided policy information key to broadcasters during NAB 2019.

Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act Reauthorization Expiration

Over 3 years ago, nascent satellite television companies were given a significantly discounted copyright license that allowed them to better compete with big cable monopolies. Under the license, a satellite company could import an out-of-market network TV station signal, typically from a major city, into a local television market where a local broadcast station cannot be served by the satellite company. At the time the license was created, the technology did not exist to enable satellite carriage of local broadcast stations in most markets. Today, there are no impediments to providing satellite viewers with their local broadcast station and it will be up to Congress to sunset this law once it is no longer necessary.

Local Radio Freedom Act

Record labels and performers are lobbying to impose a new fee on radio for airing and promoting artists’ music. Many Broadcasters oppose this performance tax and support the Local Radio Freedom Act that opposes any new fee on local stations. The stations argue that for nearly a century, record labels and performers have thrived from radio airplay and essentially free advertising and promotions from local stations.

ASCAP/BMI Consent Decrees

NAB supports the Music Modernization Act that puts into effect the first reform of the music copyright law. The Act establishes a role for Congress as the Department of Justice reviews consent decrees with the two largest performing rights organizations, ASCAP and BMI. The decrees are essential to a functioning music marketplace and any action to terminate them must be preceded by appropriate congressional oversight and implementation of an alternative framework to protect the interests of songwriters, licensees, and music consumers. The DOJ had signaled an interest in terminating consent