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FCC's Starks Issues Statement on GeoBroadcast Proposal


Geoffrey Starks
Geoffrey Starks

FCC Commissioner Geoffrey Starks has issued a statement regarding the circulation of a draft Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking comment on modifying the Commission's FM Booster Rules to permit geo-targeted content. "The use of geo-targeted content could provide a way for minority-owned stations to better serve their communities by offering hyper-localized content including alternative language news, weather, emergency alerts, and advertising periodically during the broadcast day," he wrote.

"For small businesses, this option could enable them to more cost-effectively advertise to a targeted audience while enabling minority-owned FM stations to increase advertising revenue. Twenty-one civil rights advocacy organizations have registered their support for the rulemaking petition filed by GeoBroadcast Solutions, LLC, including MMTC, the National Urban League, the Hispanic Federation, the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters, and the National Asian American Coalition."

"I am pleased to support this innovative proposal, which could offer a potential lifeline to small, women, and minority broadcasters that are struggling to retain their listening audiences and earn advertising revenue at a time when consumers have multiple options for access to information, entertainment, education, and civic engagement."

Radio is the only medium that lacks the ability to geo-target content. This rule change would put radio on par with television, which now has that ability due to the 2017 FCC decision that allowed television broadcasters to use the Next Generation TV standard (also known as ATSC 3.0), one of the many features of which is geo-targeted programming.

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