Oct 25 The U.S. Federal Communications
Commission is considering relaxing the foreign investment limit
in TV and radio stations as part of its review of broadcast
Under the current rules, there is a 25 percent cap on any
foreign investment in a U.S. broadcast holding company. The FCC
will discuss the agenda at its next open meeting on Nov. 14.
"Approval of this item will clarify the commission's
intention to review, on a case-by-case basis, proposed
transactions that would exceed the 25 percent benchmark that
restricts foreign ownership in companies holding broadcast
licenses," FCC Acting Chairwoman Mignon Clyburn said in a
notification posted on the agency's website. ()
The FCC postponed its vote in February on new
media-ownership rules until an outside study of an impact on
minority broadcasters was complete.
On Thursday, the FCC said it will conduct a study on the
Hispanic television landscape in the United States.
FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai said he is optimistic that the
agency will eliminate the foreign ownership restrictions.
"Under our rules, a foreign company can indirectly hold more
than a one-quarter stake in our nation's largest wireless
carriers, cable operators, cable programmers, and Internet
backbone providers. Yet that company cannot own a similar
interest in a single radio station in rural Kansas," Pai said.
Pai added that the "disparity makes no sense, especially
considering the difficult financial circumstances facing many
The National Association of Broadcasters said on Thursday it
welcomed the FCC move to consider foreign investment in U.S.
broadcast companies the same way it considers such investments
in other telecommunications properties.
"Permitting new potential sources of capital for American
radio and TV stations will strengthen our ability to continue
providing compelling news, entertainment and sports programming
and to remain competitive in a multi-channel digital world," NAB