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Gray Television Asks FCC to Repeal Duopoly Rule

Gray Television asked the FCC yesterday to repeal its rule on television duopolies, arguing that shared-service agreements and “innovative cost-sharing” arrangements can lead to more comprehensive coverage that can be beneficial, and even life-saving, in certain situations.

The FCC’s current rule does not allow duopolies in markets where a merger would leave fewer than eight independently-owned stations. Mergers among any of the top-four rated stations are also banned. Broadcasting & Cable has details:

Gray pointed to its WKYT TV Lexington, Ky., reporting on the tornadoes that hit too close to home last week, including its five our of commercial-free coverage during the height of the storms. expanding the 11 p.m. newscast to continue tracking them, and adding three hours of news in the morning to follow up on the storm’s aftermath.

Gray takes issue with what it says is the FCC’s implicit suggestion that broadband penetration must be 100% before the Internet will be included as a competitor to broadcast TV when it comes to ownership rule reviews. The company argues that the Internet, including blogs and Twitter, are already having a major impact that the FCC has to take into account.

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