FCC Searching for New Television DMA Metric

Posted on June 29th, 2022 by

The FCC has circulated a draft Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and opened MB Docket 22-239 seeking comment on a new publication for determining television station designated market areas when stations elect carriage on satellite and cable companies.  Nielsen has ceased publishing its Station Index Directory (Annual Station Index) and United States Television Household Estimates (Household Estimates) referred to in the FCC’s current rules, and replaced it with a Local TV Station Information Report (Local TV Report).

In the draft NPRM, the FCC tentatively concluded that the Commission should revise its rules to establish the Local TV Report as the successor to the Annual Station Index and Household Estimates, but seeks comment on whether the rule should reference the October Local TV Report published two years prior to each triennial carriage election, or a Local TV Report that is published closer in time to each triennial carriage election, to ensure that all market participants are using the same data.

The Commission is expected to approve the NPRM at its July open meeting, after which a comment period will be established.

The next three-year carriage cycle for television stations is 2024-2026, with an election deadline of October 1, 2023.  Elections will be completed again by uploading a carriage election statement to the station online public file and in some cases through email notices for systems that are new to a station.