NAB Files Comments Against LPFM Rule Changes Proposed By LPFM-AG
September 1, 2015 at 11:16 AM (PT)
The NAB has filed its comments opposing the LOW POWER FM ADVOCACY GROUP (LPFM-AG) petition to grant the stations primary status for protection from displacement by full-power services, and allow LPFMs to air commercials.
The NAB's filing asserts that "the Petition is based on a false premise that LPFM service is failing because stations may not sell commercials... (according to a REC NETWORKS study,) the failure rate for this first generation of LPFM licensees is only 10.5%, and the primary reasons these stations ceased operations involve technical, zoning or programming issues, not a lack of financial resources." The filing warns that the petition is an "effort to undo the most vital characteristics of LPFM service," citing the Commission's stated goals of creating opportunities for new voices on the radio and decision that "a noncommercial LPFM service was most likely to fulfill this goal."
Allowing commercials on LPFMs, the NAB contends, would "come with a cost" of forcing stations to succumb to pressure to "maximize its consumer appeal to support its advertisers, at the expense of its primary purpose or target audience." Such a move would also end LPFMs' noncommercial exemption from FCC regulatory fees and increase music licensing fees, the NAB projects. And the filing objects to giving LPFMs primary status, warning that doing so would jeopardize the integrity of FM service and contradict the Congressional mandate that LPFMs "not cause unacceptable interference to existing radio services."