A change in U.S. rules to restrict the growth of television-station groups wouldn’t affect pending acquisitions such as those proposed by Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. (SBGI:US) and Tribune Co. (TRBAA:US), people familiar with the matter said.
A rule being written at the Federal Communications Commission wouldn’t apply to existing or pending combinations of TV stations, said two agency officials who asked not to be identified because the matter hasn’t been made public.
The FCC is to vote tomorrow on the rule proposed by the agency’s acting chairwoman, Mignon Clyburn, a Democrat. The agency would then take public comments until a final vote that would probably take place under Tom Wheeler, who awaits Senate confirmation as FCC chairman.
Justin Cole, an FCC spokesman, in an e-mail declined to comment.
Clyburn wants to do away with a regulatory discount that calculates audience reach of some TV stations at 50 percent of others when assessing compliance with ownership limits. Congress set a limit for a company’s reach at 39 percent of the national TV audience.
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