DTV, FCC, NAB and FEC: An Unhealthy Recipe for Alphabet Soup?

CLC Staff
Aug 15, 2007
Share:

The transition to digital television (DTV) has been going on for more than a decade and the FCC still hasn’t defined the public interest obligations for broadcasters in the digital age. Today the Campaign Legal Center joined 27 other organizations in an FCC filing urging the Commission to rectify this problem. Oddly enough the National Association of Broadcasters filed FEC reports yesterday revealing the trade association spent more than $4.2 million on lobbying in the first six months of 2007.

The transition to digital television (DTV) has been going on for more than a decade and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) still hasn’t defined the public interest obligations for broadcasters in the digital age. Today the Campaign Legal Center joined 27 other organizations in an FCC filing urging the Commission to rectify this problem.  Oddly enough the National Association of Broadcasters filed FEC reports yesterday revealing the organization spent more than $4.2 million on lobbying in the first six months of 2007.  That total represents only the trade association itself and doesn’t take into account massive additional lobbying expenditures by station groups or the national networks.

The filing today came as part of the FCC’s third periodic review of the conversion of the nation’s broadcast television system from analog to digital.  In a statement today, Campaign Legal Center Policy Director Meredith McGehee urged the Commissioners to safeguard the public interest in their deliberations and rulemaking:

“The Commission has the opportunity and the statutory obligation to create an important and lasting legacy to benefit the citizens of our nation as we enter the digital age.  Despite the fact that most broadcasters have come to treat the public airwaves as their personal property, that incredibly valuable spectrum is still owned by the American public.  It is the Commission’s job to remind broadcasters of that fact and to demand substantive public interest efforts in return.”

Joining the Legal Center in the filing were the Alliance For Community Media, Benton Foundation, Center for Digital Democracy, Chicago Media Action, Citizen Advocacy Center, Common Cause, Common Cause Illinois, Common Cause Michigan, Common Cause Ohio, Common Cause Wisconsin, Communication Service For The Deaf, Consumer Action, Democracy Now, Free Press, Hearing Loss Association Of America – New York State, Illinois Campaign For Political Reform, Illinois PIRG, League Of Women Voters Of Minnesota, League Of Women Voters Of Wisconsin, Michigan Campaign Finance Network, National Hispanic Media Coalition, Northern Virginia Resource Center For Deaf And Hard Of Hearing Persons, Ohio Citizen Action Education Fund, Sunshine Project -- University Of Illinois At Springfield, Take Action Minnesota, United States Conference Of Catholic Bishops, Wisconsin Democracy Campaign.

To read the comments, click here.

Get Updates

Visit Our YouTube Page

For more Campaign Legal Center videos, visit our YouTube channel.