Federal Communications Law Journal

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Publication Date


Publication Citation

59 Federal Communications Law Journal 1 (2006)


This Article proposes an access system based on a theory of quid pro quo: a bargained.for-exchange in which broadcasters would trade media access for market power. Under this quid pro quo approach, the FCC would administer a scaled metric whereby the greater a media company's audience reach, the more access that company must provide to citizens with diverse and local content. Since digital technology permits broadcasters to "multiplex" their television signal bandwidth into multiple signal programming streams, an opportunity exists for the government to require public access to one or more of these programming streams in return for relaxing caps on broadcast ownerships that currently prevent a company from owning stations that reach more than 39% of the national television audience.