NAB Calls FCC Programming Proposal Unfair

Aug 27, 2004  •  Post A Comment

The National Association of Broadcasters today told the Federal Communications Commission that a controversial agency proposal to require radio and TV stations to keep tapes of their programming for at least 60 days is “extraordinarily broad and fundamentally unfair” to the vast majority of responsible broadcasters.

The FCC proposed the requirement to help the agency crack down on indecent broadcasts. But in a filing at the FCC, NAB said that only one TV station-and fewer than 1 percent of the nation’s radio stations-have been fined for allegedly airing indecencies in the past several years. “There are simply no grounds for the commission to justify its astoundingly overbroad and punitive proposal, which will force thousands of broadcasters to record and retain tens of millions of hours of programming,” NAB said.

NAB also said the proposed requirement would put an especially heavy burden on small stations and TV stations that opt to multicast on their digital frequencies. “Even beyond the constitutional difficulties, a recording mandate raises questions under copyright law and could significantly increase the costs, burdens and complexity of the program licensing process, particularly for TV stations,” NAB said.