MMTC Writes To Judiciary Chair Re: Performance Royalty
October 14, 2009 at 6:25 AM (PT)
MINORITY MEDIA AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS COUNCIL Pres./Exec. Dir. DAVID HONIG shared with ALL ACCESS a letter sent to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman PATRICK LEAHY YESTERDAY (10/13) regarding the Performance Royalty Bill before the Senate.
Dear Chairman LEAHY:
As civil rights advocates, we respectfully oppose the performance royalty bill, S. 379.
Minority broadcasters are indispensable as an information lifeline for our communities. Yet minority broadcasters are seriously underrepresented on the public airwaves, holding about 7% of the licenses and less than 2% of industry asset value. Most minority-owned stations operate with inferior facilities and are handicapped by weak financing.
The Minority Media and Telecommunications Council and the National Association of Media Brokers estimate that this legislation would throw at least a third of minority broadcasters into bankruptcy. The surviving stations would find it virtually impossible to raise the capital they need to grow. Growth capital -- the only kind available -- would only enable small broadcasters to become large enough to trigger the huge royalty fees that preclude any hope of eventual profitability.
The new FCC will have its hands full correcting the historic inequities facing minority broadcasters. In the meantime, Congress should not make the FCC’s job far more difficult by enacting this legislation.