Since June 19, 2014, joint sales agreements (JSAs) that allow one television station to sell more than 15% of the advertising time of another television station in the same market have been considered by the FCC to create an “attributable” ownership interest for the station (and its principals) selling the advertising time. As a result, a brokering station can only enter into such an arrangement if that station could actually own the brokered station under the FCC’s multiple ownership rules. If a JSA in effect as of June 19, 2014 creates circumstances where common ownership of the two television stations would not comply with the multiple ownership rules, the affected parties are given until April 15, 2016 to bring the JSA into compliance (by, for example, reducing the amount of time sold to 15% or less of all weekly advertising time), to seek a waiver of the rule, or to terminate the agreement. Our previous memo on this subject is available here.
Although the FCC’s JSA decision remains subject to court appeal, the FCC has announced that by November 28, 2014, parties to attributable JSAs must file copies of these agreements with the FCC, and place copies of the JSA in each station’s respective online public inspection file. All attributable JSAs entered into after November 28, 2014, must be filed with the FCC within 30 days of execution and immediately uploaded to the stations’ online public inspection files.