Broadcast and Cable

Serving clients who are:

  • VHF and UHF Television Broadcasters
  • AM & FM Radio Broadcasters
  • Low-Power Television (LPTV) Providers
  • Cable Service Providers
  • Multipoint Distribution Service (MDS) Providers
  • Interactive Video Data Service (IVDS) Providers
  • Direct Broadcast Satellite Service
  • Instructional Television Fixed Service (ITFS) Providers

Challenges in today's broadcasting and information-distribution environment range from license renewals to engineering records, from EAS logs to program content. Navigating the FCC's reorganized Media Bureau can be a tricky task. Higgs Law Group L.L.C. can assist you with a variety of needs: 

Corporate & Commercial Transactions:
The era of mass-media consolidation makes having effective counsel on your side more important than ever. HLG's attorneys are equally adept at dealing with rural station managers as they are at negotiating with Fortune 500 executives. HLG has experience in negotiating and drafting contracts for such purposes as tower leases, cable access, excess capacity, and asset transfer, purchase and sale. This equips us with the knowledge and resources to keep your station on the air or your system in service. We can also assist with network affiliation, business structure, incorporation and organization documents. 

Spectrum Applications & Auctions:
Industry consolidation and spectrum congestion mean good broadcasting opportunities are increasingly hard to come by. The professionals at HLG keep a close watch on the Commission's spectrum allocations, as well as proceedings and little-noticed rulings that have the potential to open up new and exciting opportunities for broadcasters. If the license you want is slated for auction, HLG's years of experience in dealing with the FCC's rules, software and auction methodology will help you to acquire that valuable spectrum.

FCC Enforcement & Litigation:
The FCC is taking a hard look at operational and content issues that affect broadcast communications. Improper lighting of towers and masts not only has its own penalties, but its public visibility provokes investigation into other station procedures. Tower site security is being evaluated now not only for safety reasons but for Homeland Security concerns. Along those same lines, EAS system readiness and recordkeeping are being monitored more thoroughly. Media ownership and program content rules are also receiving unprecedented attention. The FCC is rapidly moving toward a stance of fines based on every "indecent" incident within a broadcast, multiplied by the number of affiliates carrying the content. Forfeitures for violations of standards and practices may soon become much more than "the cost of doing business," and the Commission is seriously contemplating license revocations for flagrant cases. Proper maintenance and availability of engineering records and public information files is also an area where we can provide guidance. We can help you to identify potential trouble spots in your operations before the Media Bureau (or a Commissioner) gets involved. If you already face an enforcement proceeding, we can work together to defend your actions, decrease your liability or to arrange a consent agreement. In addition to everyday business issues and litigation, broadcast media outlets are also targets for nuisance torts. We can help you to minimize your exposure and to discourage fortune hunters.

Collocation, operating and maintenance agreements with commercial operations:
Some local governments own facilities and infrastructure that could become revenue centers (or at the very least, earn enough to be self-supporting and decrease budget strain). Conversely, some local governments need to expand coverage or system capabilities, but lack the property or resources to go it alone. HLG can draft and negotiate agreements between local governments and commercial telecommunications businesses to the mutual advantage of both. For smaller cities or counties that that do not own their own radio systems or maintenance facilities, we can draft, negotiate or review technical service contracts or dedicated channel agreements with commercial service providers.

E-911 and PSAP agreements with Local Exchange Carriers:
Homeland Security needs, citizen pressure and government mandates are putting the heat on the activation of enhanced 9-1-1 services for local PSAPs. This is made more urgent by the burgeoning use of cellular and other mobile devices to access emergency help. A major obstacle to E-911 service has been failure to establish compensation and operational agreements between PSAPs and Local Exchange Carriers. HLG can work with you to create agreements that will get location-based emergency calling up-and-running in your community.