Congress should not mandate a new performance royalty on free, local radio stations that would jeopardize local jobs, prevent new artists from breaking into the recording business and harm the hundreds of millions of Americans who rely on local radio. Broadcasters urge legislators to support the Local Radio Freedom Act, which opposes a performance tax, and that last Congress was supported by more than 250 bipartisan members of the House and Senate. Additionally, broadcasters ask legislators to oppose any performance royalty proposal.
Local broadcast journalists and newspaper reporters provide a lifeline for our communities. From investigative reports to breaking news and weather coverage, they invest significant resources to keep Americans informed about critical events. There has never been a more critical time for trusted local journalism - but the very survival of newsrooms is being threatened. Providing and paying for high-quality local news coverage has become increasingly difficult, particularly when dwindling advertising dollars are being diverted to massive, multi-national technology platforms. Congress should support laws and policies that uphold local broadcasters' unique and essential role in democracy and a free press, ensure their ability to compete in the current media marketplace, and continue to produce high-quality local content.
TThe National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) has consistently promoted initiatives aimed at improving diversity in broadcasting and creating new opportunities for women, people of color and other underrepresented communities. But the most impactful program to expand diversity in broadcast ownership - the Minority Tax Certificate Program - was eliminated by Congress in 1995. Broadcasters support legislation to reinstate this successful program and to eliminate barriers that prevent ownership of local TV and radio stations by underrepresented individuals such as women and people of color. Congress should pass legislation to ensure diverse representation in broadcast station ownership.
Congress should not pass legislation that hurts free, local broadcasting by modifying the tax laws to make advertising more expensive for businesses. Advertising is currently treated as an ordinary and necessary business expense - just like salaries, rent and utilities - under the U.S. tax code. This means a business can fully deduct the expense in the year it was incurred. Some in Congress have suggested changing the tax treatment of advertising for specific types of products, such as pharmaceuticals. This change would have a devastating impact on listeners and viewers of local radio and television stations that rely on advertising revenue to survive, raises significant First Amendment concerns and ignores the important consumer benefits that advertising provides.
Microsoft is lobbying Congress and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for free spectrum - or airwaves - to operate unlicensed devices. Microsoft claims this would unlock broadband for rural America, but fails to mention it will do so at the expense of rural Americans' lifeline local TV service.
The C-band is a strip of satellite spectrum that radio and TV stations use every day to receive critical content for their broadcasts. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is considering transferring some or all of that spectrum to wireless companies for new services, which could impact the programming listeners and viewers rely upon.
In a response to growing complaints about poor cable service and high rates, Congress passed the 1992 Cable Act, which intended to curb cable rates that were excessively increasing and far outpacing inflation. The Act also included the right for local television broadcasters to negotiate with cable in a free market for use of their signals (known as retransmission consent).
The internet has transformed the media marketplace, yet TV and radio broadcasters are still subject to outdated rules restricting the number and type of outlets they may own. Policymakers should support the continued modernization of these rules to account for the rise, and increasing influence, of digital media.
In 2021, the Department of Justice (DOJ) completed a review of the critically important antitrust consent decrees that underpin the music licensing marketplace. The DOJ decided to leave the decrees intact, without modifications. Television and radio broadcasters applaud this action, as modification or termination of the decrees would upset the balance Congress strived to achieve in the 2018 Music Modernization Act (MMA).
The next generation of broadcast television technology will deliver life-saving advanced emergency alerting, stunning pictures, immersive, customizable audio and improved reception - all for free - to enhance and expand your broadcast viewing experience. Because the new technology combines the best of broadcast television and broadband, Next Gen TV allows local stations to better personalize their broadcasts with information and interactive features to give viewers the content that is most relevant to them.
For decades, the Department of Justice's (DOJ) Antitrust Division has maintained that local broadcast television stations compete only against other broadcast television stations when analyzing mergers and other competition issues relating to the industry. This view no longer matches today's media marketplace.
As Hurricane Ian tore through southeastern states in late September, local radio and television broadcasters provided critical and lifesaving information to their communities.View Coverage
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