FCC Releases Draft Order to Eliminate Broadcasters’ Obligations to File Contracts

According to the Broadcast Law Blog, the FCC released its draft order proposing to eliminate the requirement that broadcasters file certain contracts relating to ownership and control with the Commission. The disclosure of the documents can be made by either (1) uploading the documents to the station’s online public file, or (2) making available a list of the required documents in the online public file with the documents themselves provided within 7 days to anyone who requests them, including the FCC.

Among the documents that are required to be in the public file are those 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.

In the draft order, the FCC requires that such documents be included in the online public file (either in full or by inclusion on the list) within 30 days of execution, or within 30 days of any amendment or other modification of the agreement. If only a list of the documents is provided in the file, all the information that is required on an Ownership Report, where such documents are listed, would be required – including the name of the parties involved and the execution and expiration dates of the agreements.

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