FCC Won't Close Proceeding On Joint Sales Agreements Attribution

Agency: Further Action May Be Needed

The FCC has decided not to terminate its open proceeding on whether TV station joint sales agreements and the FCC's attribution rules.

While the FCC signaled in February it was considering closing that proceeding along with a number of others, it sought comment on all those proposed terminations. On Thursday, the commission terminated a number of those proceedings, but said that on its own initiative, and saying that "further action may be necessary," it decided not to close the proceeding "at this time."

A number of critics of coordinated retrans negotiations, including the American Cable Association, have complained that the joint agreements are a way to skirt the FCC's local market ownership limits.

The commission also decided, on second thought and after comment from the Benton Foundation, Free Press, United Church of Christ and others, the FCC has won't close a proceeding on whether broadcasters should provide clearer notice of their proposals to sell stations.