FCC Commissioner Geoffrey Starks issued a statement following the circulation a draft Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking comment on modifying the Commission’s FM Booster Rules to permit geo-targeted content. Here’s what he had to say.
“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. 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.”
GeoBroadcast Solutions is the company pushing for the rule modification. CTO Bill Hieatt issued the following about Starks’ remarks. “Today’s statement by Commissioner Starks is encouraging news about our proposal to support the introduction of geo-targeting to the broadcast radio industry and help it remain competitive in the market. “We look forward to working closely with the Commission and other stakeholders during the upcoming comment period on the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to provide any additional information or modeling on the effectiveness and implementation of this technology.”
GeoBroadcast Solutions says the proposed booster technology will help stations target content to local communities and better serve the public by offering hyper-localized news, weather, emergency alerts, and alternative languages during a small part of the broadcast hour.
The company also believes it will create a more robust advertising environment with opportunities for small local businesses to have affordable options for advertising in their communities.