The Federal Communications Commission on Wednesday implemented changes in the way it determines ownership caps, B&C reports.
“The FCC eliminated the ‘UHF discount’ on broadcast stations’ reach and will now count the entire potential audience — rather than the 50% ‘discount’ it has given to UHF stations for the past 30 years — when tallying owners’ ability to reach the limit of 39% of U.S. television households,” B&C reports.
The report adds: “Wednesday’s 3-2 partisan vote includes a grandfather clause, which means that current owner groups would not have to divest stations. But it could affect future acquisitions.”
The vote comes just two months after FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler introduced his plan to eliminate the UHF discount.
Republican Commissioner Ajit Pai issued a dissenting opinion in which he “suggested that the looming threat of eliminating the UHF discount has already cast a pall over station transactions,” the report notes.