FCC Set to Restore Rule Making it Easier to Buy TV Stations

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission said on Thursday it would vote in April to reverse a 2016 rule adopted by the Obama administration that limits the number of television stations some companies can buy.

Under rules adopted in 1985, broadcasters could partially count some stations with weaker over-the-air signals against ownership caps. The FCC under President Barack Obama said those rules were outdated after the 2009 conversion to digital broadcasting and revoked them in September.

The 2016 rule did not require any company to sell existing stations but could bar new acquisitions.

Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc in September challenged the FCC rule.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said in a statement the FCC was likely to lose the legal challenge before the U.S. Court of Appeals. He said he wanted to revoke the rule and “launch a comprehensive review of the national ownership cap” later this year.

Current rules limit companies

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