Television

US media ownership capped at 39 per cent

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WASHINGTON: Following a settlement between the US Congress and the White House, media ownership by US television networks has now been capped at 39 per cent of the national audience.

 

US television networks can now acquire local television stations that collectively reach not more than 39 per cent of the national audience.



According to House and Senate aides, the bill ratifying the US media ownership rules to effect this recent development is likely be passed this week.



Earlier this year in June, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) had raised the ownership limit from 35 percent to 45 percent amidst a reaction by lawmakers and consumer groups whose main contention was that the move would cut the number of viewpoints in a community and reduce local reporting.



According to a Reuters report, Viacom and News Corp. already own local stations that reach over 35 per cent of the national television audience. The feeling is that both corporations would accommodate the new media ownership limit without having to divest assets.


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