The FCC has announced it will conduct its first-ever "systematic examination" of the Hispanic TV viewing and ownership in its effort to encourage broadcast diversity.
That likely means the commission won't be weighing in on its Media ownership reg review anytime soon, since it would likely first have to review the study. The commission under chairman Julius Genachowski's effort to complete the FCC's 2010 ownership rule review ran into trouble when there were complaints the FCC had not sufficiently vetted their impact on diversity.
The study will incorporate data from the FCC's new 323 ownership form.
According to the FCC, among the things the study will look at are:
"The impact of Hispanic-owned television stations on Hispanic-oriented programming and Hispanic viewership in selected local television markets;
"The extent of Hispanic-oriented programming on US broadcast television; and
"The role of digital multicasting in increasing the amount of Hispanic-oriented programming."
Broadcasters have argued that one of the reasons the FCC should not be in such a hurry to get broadcasters to give up spectrum is the impact it would have on the availability of diverse programming.
In a related announcement, the FCC also said on Oct. 24 that the FCC's Office of Communications Businesses Opportunities would begin field testing in a single market the methodology it could use in other markets to determine whether the critical information needs of communities are being met.
The FCC said in February 2012 it was commissioning the study with an eye toward collecting evidence to support boosting media
Acting FCC chairwoman Mignon Clyburn was a big backer of the study. She had been pushing for better data to support FCC actions on boosting minority and female ownership, data that will be necessary to buttress any affirmative action measures in court.