The U.S. Federal Communications Commission on Thursday balloted to remove key roadblocks to increased consolidation among media companies, potentially unleashing new bargains among TV, radio and newspaper owners as they seek to better contend with online media.
The Republican-led FCC voted 3-2 to eliminate the 42-year-old ban on cross-ownership of a newspaper and TV station in a crucial market. It also voted to make it easier for media companies to buy additional TV garrisons in the same market, and for local stations to jointly sell advertising convenience life and for companies to buy additional radio stations in some markets.
Big media companies Tegna, CBS, and Nexstar Middle have have cited the expected rule change as motivation for in the light of expansion opportunities.
“This is really about helping large media companies spread even bigger,” said Democratic FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn, continuing that Republicans were “more intent on granting the industrys fete wish list early rather than looking out for the public percentage.”
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai defended the rule change, saying it was “utter cackle” that rules banning cross ownership of a newspaper and broadcast position were still in place after massive changes in media once again the last four decades.
The decision could also allow Sinclair Air Group, which is seeking approval for its proposed $3.9 billion object of Tribune Media, to avoid some divestitures in order to gain go-ahead of the deal.
Moody’s said on Thursday the move was credit-positive for TV broadcasters. “Covered by the revised FCC rules, U.S. television broadcasters will benefit from the facility to consolidate local market ownership through acquisitions and station swaps,” give the word delivered Jason Cuomo, author of the Moody’s report. “Broadcasters that multiplication their scale in local markets will attract more advertising, uplift their negotiating leverage and bring down their costs.”
A federal pleas court, which has been grappling with the FCC’s media ownership hold sway overs for more than a decade, is expected to hear challenges to the new rules.
U.S. Senator Restaurant check Nelson, a Florida Democrat, said the vote “will pave the way for elephantine broadcast conglomerates to increasingly provide local viewers with nationalized cookie-cutter word and corporate propaganda that’s produced elsewhere.”
But the National Association of Broadcasters replied the rules were “not only irrational in today’s media environment, but they bring into the world also weakened the newspaper industry, cost journalism jobs, and contrived local broadcast stations onto unequal footing with our jingoistic pay-TV and radio competitors.”
Pai is also expected to call for an initial opt in December to rescind rules prohibiting one company from owning assigns that serve more than 39 percent of U.S. television households, Reuters reported on Wednesday, citing two man briefed on the matter.
In April, the FCC voted to reverse a 2016 decision that limits the billion of television stations some broadcasters could buy.