Local TV Will No Longer Need Local Studios

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently eliminated an 80-year-old rule that required stations to have a studio inside the market they are servicing.

The rule was adopted nearly 80 years ago “to facilitate input from community members and the station’s participation in community activities,” the FCC said. But that’s no longer necessary because residents “can interact directly [with stations] through alternative means such as e-mail, social media, and the telephone,” the FCC majority said.

This change was pushed for by the National Association of Broadcasters, an industry lobby group.

“Getting rid of the rule will help broadcasters serve viewers and listeners, especially those in small towns and rural areas where the cost of compliance dissuades broadcasters from even launching stations,” FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said.

Now, this won’t mean your local news will end. Local news is still highly profitable for broadcasters with only 3.7% of local TV stations reporting a loss on their news operations in 2016. This has driven the growth of more local news productions from daytime local talk shows to additional evening news programming.

This move will free up smaller networks that do not offer local programming from having the expense of a local studio. It will also lower the bar for the cost of launching new local TV stations inside the United States.

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6 Responses to Local TV Will No Longer Need Local Studios

  1. TaiPeng October 26, 2017 at 9:43 pm #

    Still local networks though. This not a move to a single national ABC network for example.

  2. Vegas Steve October 26, 2017 at 10:32 pm #

    So let me get this straight… we have to live ‘in market’ in order to receive the programming, but THEY don’t have to? Oh yeah, that sounds like a great deal… NOT!

    • Sunflower October 29, 2017 at 11:12 am #

      I email my local station now about their offensive social engineering in commercials and poor programming choices.They give me a standard form response and ignore my wishes. What would be different if they were 100 miles away instead of 20?

  3. Fred Koot October 27, 2017 at 7:08 am #

    I remember when banks did that. A lot of corrupt mega banks now.

  4. Curtice Morris October 27, 2017 at 9:44 am #

    I live outside of Toledo, Ohio and our local NBC channel is streamed from somewhere in Indiana, only have a meteorologist and a few other staff members that stayed local to broadcast the local weather forecast. Other than the weather every other part of the local news is streamed from the studio in Indiana.

  5. Sunflower October 29, 2017 at 11:09 am #

    More competition coming for the local stations. More options coming into the rural areas. Winning!