Tuesday, June 2, 2015

FCC Gives Final OK To Pandora Acquisition

The FCC Tuesday gave full approval granting the transfer of KXMZ 102.7 FM  in Rapid City, SD from Connoisseur Media to Pandora Radio.

Pandora can now proceed with the purchase of the HotAC formatted KXMZ (Today's Hits Without The Rap).  It has a contractual drop-dead date of June 10 to close.

The Music Licensing entity ASCAP had ojected to the sale.  It told the FCC “that Pandora is motivated by obtaining the benefits of copyright licensing payment terms applicable to broadcasters rather than by a sincere desire to become a broadcaster; and that grant of the Petition could lead to the collapse of the collective copyright licensing system, to the detriment of copyright owners, the broadcasting industry, and American society in general”.

The FCC didn't buy that argument.

KXMZ 102.7 FM (50Kw)
According to the FCC, it is not required  to examine the business, personal, or other motivations of an applicant for a broadcast license, nor would it be practicable to do so. Rather, the Commission will generally presume that an applicant intends to serve its designated community of license if its application complies with our licensing rules; specifically, that the applicant proposes to: (1) provide principal community signal service to the designated community; (2) comply with the main studio location rule; and (3) provide programming that will serve the designated community."

The commission also found ASCAP’s predictions regarding the effect of this transaction on the collective music licensing system, and the American public at large, to be highly speculative and contingent on the independent actions of third parties, including the courts, Congress, and the Department of Justice. Therefore, we find that ASCAP has failed to raise a substantial and material question of fact that grant of the Application would be inconsistent with the public interest, convenience, and necessity.

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