You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

FCC sets duopoly lottery in 4-1 vote

CBS upset over decision

WASHINGTON — Broadcasters may want to start rubbing their lucky rabbits’ feet now that the FCC has decided it will use a lottery to decide who can buy a second station in some markets.

The lottery, announced Tuesday, would be used only in cases where there is not enough room to grant permission for all duopolies in a given market.

Under the FCC’s new rules, a broadcaster may buy another station in the same market — but only when the deal would leave at least eight independently owned stations in the market.

No lining up

CBS had argued that permission to grant a waiver should be approved on a first-come, first-served basis (Daily Variety, Oct. 19). The Eye web also argued it is in line for such a waiver, since it has announced its intention to merge with Viacom and its Paramount Station Group, which would create duopolies in two markets.

In another blow to CBS, the FCC said it would grant priority to applications from stations in local marketing agreements. Under an LMA, one station manages another station in the same market — and there are more than 80 of those arrangements around the country. The FCC also ruled that it would count current LMAs as a single voice when adding up all voices in a market.

Consumer groups spinning

Public interest advocates also opposed the lottery. David Honig of the Minority Media & Telecommunications Council asked the FCC to award preferences based on which broadcaster would agree to spin off properties to “socially or economically disadvantaged” citizens.

The FCC approved the decision to hold lotteries in a 4-1 vote, with Harold Furchtgott-Roth dissenting. Furchtgott-Roth said the procedure “is simply unworkable, and will likely lead to the abrogation of ownership rights based on seemingly arbitrary factors.”

More TV

  • Court TV Brand to Resurface as

    Court TV Brand to Resurface as Digital Multicast Channel From Scripps Co.

    Court TV is back in session. The cable TV channel that once carried gavel-to-gavel live coverage of high-profile trials will be revived by a new owner, nearly a dozen years after it was shuttered by Turner Broadcasting. Katz Networks, a division of E.W. Scripps Co., plans to revive Court TV as a digital multicast channel [...]

  • Gina Rodriguez Carmen Sandiego

    TV News Roundup: Netflix's Carmen Sandiego Series With Gina Rodriguez Sets Premiere Date

    In today’s TV news roundup, Netflix announced a premiere date for its upcoming Carmen Sandiego series and Stars released the premiere date for its original comedy series “Now Apocalypse.” DATES Lifetime will debut a new Gretchen Carlson documentary Jan. 14 at 10 p.m. ET/PT, Variety has learned exclusively. The two-hour special titled “Gretchen Carlson: Breaking [...]

  • Craig Hunegs WB

    Craig Hunegs to Exit Warner Bros. TV Group and Digital Networks (EXCLUSIVE)

    After nearly 25 years in the Warner Bros. family, Craig Hunegs is exiting his post as head of business for Warner Bros. TV Group and president of the studio’s digital networks wing. Hunegs said he has been discussing his exit with Warner Bros. chairman-CEO Kevin Tsujihara for the past several months. At a time of [...]

  • 'Walking Dead' Profits Dispute Heading to

    'Walking Dead' Profits Dispute Heading to Trial

    The long-running legal battle between Frank Darabont and AMC over profits from “The Walking Dead” will run a bit longer, as a judge ruled Monday that the case must go to trial. Darabont and CAA sued the network back in 2013, arguing he was deprived of $280 million in profit participation because AMC did not [...]

  • CBS Studios Exterior

    CBS Sells Television City Production Studio

    CBS sold its venerable Television City production facility, one of Hollywood’s most storied production studios, in a deal the company says will give it more flexibility to invest in content for digital audiences. CBS said Monday it signed a definitive agreement to sell the sound stages and studios that have hosted programs ranging from “All [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content