NHMC Continues to Oppose the FCC’s Efforts to Raise the National Media Ownership Cap

On April 18, 2018, the National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) joined the United Church of Christ, OC Inc., Common Cause, and Public Knowledge in reply comments drafted by attorneys at Georgetown’s Institute for Public Representation opposing proposals to raise or eliminate the 39% national cap for broadcast television stations.

The groups stated unequivocally, “The FCC has a responsibility under the Communications Act to ensure that broadcast TV stations serve the public interest, and the public interest in turn, is served by promoting competition, diversity, and localism.”

Current law prohibits a commercial broadcaster’s reach from exceeding 39% of American households. Despite suggestions otherwise, only Congress has the authority to raise the ownership cap. Moreover, the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) decision to reinstate the obsolete UHF discount, which allows broadcasters to discount the calculation of its audience reach, did not serve the public’s interest. Instead, both actions help pave the way for a singular entity to control the narrative in the majority of American households, an outcome that directly undermines the FCC’s stated commitment to broadcast diversity.