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FCC Seeks Comments on ‘In-State Broadcasting’

Congress will receive the comments on issues related to the availability of broadcast stations to consumers.

The U.S. government is seeking comments on “in-state broadcasting” which might be used in a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) report to Congress on issues related to the availability of broadcast stations to consumers.

On Dec. 9, 2010, the FCC posted a Federal Register notice—Request for Comment for Report on In-State Broadcast Programming—seeking the comments as directed by the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act of 2010 (STELA). The legislation requires the FCC to file a report with Congress on that issue by Aug. 27, 2011.

According to the notice, the report needs to contain an analysis of three areas related to the size and geographic area of “designated market areas” (DMAs) for broadcast operations. Those areas are:

The number of households in a state that receive the signals of local broadcast stations assigned to a community of license that is located in a different state.

The extent to which consumers in each local market have access to in-state broadcast programming over the air or from a multichannel video programming distributor.

Whether there are alternatives to the use of designated market areas that would provide more consumers with in-state broadcast programming.

In addition, the FCC seeks comments that can be used to identify geographic areas and associated populations within specific states that have limited access to in-state broadcast programming and whether analysis based on DMAs will identify those geographic areas and populations.

The FCC also seeks comment on whether other criteria should be considered, such as network affiliation or whether the stations offer local news. To measure the “extent” to which consumers in each local market have access to in-state broadcast programming, the FCC intends to collect, aggregate, and compare data based on DMAs and counties and requests data on a DMA and county basis. Commenters also are invited to suggest and provide data for other geographic areas that would be responsive to STELA’s directive. Commenters are asked to submit any other data that they believe will assist the FCC in preparing the report.

The deadline for comments is Jan. 24, 2011, and the deadline for reply comments is Feb. 22, 2011.

Comments may be filed electronically using the Internet by accessing the ECFS: or the Federal eRulemaking Portal: For ECFS filers, if multiple docket or rulemaking numbers appear in the caption of this proceeding, filers must transmit one electronic copy of the comments for each docket or rulemaking number referenced in the caption. In completing the transmittal screen, filers should include their full name, U.S. Postal Service mailing address, and the applicable docket or rulemaking number.

Comments can also be submitted by e-mail. To obtain filing instructions for e-mail submissions, filers should send an e-mail to, and include the following words in the body of the message “get form.” A Sample form and directions will be sent in response.