MMTC Supports Foreign Ownership Proposal
July 27, 2010 at 4:19 PM (PT)
The MINORITY MEDIA AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS COUNCIL has filed reply comments in the FCC's ownership rules review proceeding supporting proposals to relax foreign ownership limits. The MMTC said that the FCC "should relax its outdated foreign ownership rules to reduce one of the most significant impediments to minority ownership -- access to capital."
TV AZTECA, the Mexican television network that owns the AZTECA AMERICA TV network, suggested that the Commission adopt a "presumptive waiver" to allow foreign entities to own and control up to 51% of a U.S. broadcast licensee as long as the licensee has at least two U.S. citizens on its board (one independent of the foreign company), the programming serves an "underserved audience," and all other rules are satisfied. Similar proposals were made by the ADVISORY COMMITTEE FOR DIVERSITY IN THE DIGITAL AGE (proposing a 49% limit, 25% voting power, the same as the MMTC has previously proposed) and the DIVERSITY AND COMPETITION SUPPORTERS. The MMTC did not believe a programming requirement is necessary, but applauded the AZTECA comments, adding, "Strict restrictions on foreign investment in broadcasting are no longer rational because the Commission has relaxed the rules in the cable and telecommunications contexts to further goals that are not greater in importance to diversity. Continued severe restrictions adversely impact minority ownership by preventing opportunities for access to capital while serving no significant countervailing purpose."