FCC Eliminates Broadcasters’ Obligations to File Paper Copies of Contracts

For nearly 80 years, the FCC’s rules required broadcasters to file paper copies of various types of documents relating to the control and operation of their stations. Section 73.3613 of the FCC’s rules requires broadcasters to file with the FCC certain contracts and instruments relating to:

  • Showing the governance of the license entity (e.g., articles of incorporation and bylaws);
  • Options and other documents related to future ownership rights, joint sales and time brokerage agreements; and
  • Television network affiliation agreements.

On October 24, The FCC voted unanimously to eliminate this requirement. In eliminating the requirement to file such documents with the Commission, the FCC reasoned that the paper filing rule not only imposed unnecessary burdens on stations, but was redundant with the OPIF and Ownership Report requirements; as a result, the requirement did little to serve the public.

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