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S. 941: Section 331 Obligation Clarification Act


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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Mar 28, 2019.


Section 331 Obligation Clarification Act

This bill specifies that certain service obligations owed by the licensee of a commercial television broadcast station apply regardless of the broadcast frequency used by the licensee.

Specifically, the bill provides that a licensee making a change from a very high frequency (VHF) broadcast station to an ultrahigh frequency (UHF) broadcast station must ensure the change does not affect its obligation to provide service to its customers. The bill also requires such a licensee to (1) broadcast at least 14 hours of common local programming per week, (2) include a substantial amount of particularized local content, and (3) maintain a studio in the station's community.

The bill further provides for the reallocation of a station to a community where there is no VHF or UHF station.