Proposal To Loosen Foreign Ownership Restrictions Approved By FCC
November 14, 2013 at 12:08 PM (PT)
The FCC has approved raising foreign ownership limits on radio and television stations. The vote was unanimous, with the commission saying it would examine on a case-by-case basis deals that raise the share of foreign ownership above 25%.
The move will allow increased foreign ownership of broadcast stations, a loosening of the restriction that has heretofore barred foreign investors from holding more than 25% of a U.S. licensee.
Commissioner MIGNON CLYBURN circulated the proposal last month while she was Acting Chairperson (NET NEWS 10/24).
The proposal had the support of the MINORITY MEDIA AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS COUNCIL, which petitioned for the change and issued a statement saying, "This FCC policy reform – the very first new initiative to be voted on by the WHEELER Commission – would make much-needed investment capital available to struggling broadcasters – particularly minority owners. The move would also facilitate American broadcasters’ reciprocal entry into diverse overseas markets hungry for African American, Hispanic American, and Asian American information, music, and culture."
NAB Pres./CEO GORDON SMITH said, "NAB applauds the FCC for providing flexibility in Commission rules allowing increased foreign investment in broadcast TV and radio stations. We are especially pleased the FCC recognized that local broadcasters routinely provide ‘local news, Amber Alerts and public safety information’ to serve our communities. Today’s vote provides broadcasters greater access to capital that will allow local stations to continue our indispensable role as the primary purveyor of news, entertainment and lifeline information to the American people."