1 Sep 2020 Danielle Chazen
3min read

This Week in Media Industry News & Updates

The media industry is surely made up of movers and shakers who are used to a fast-paced environment and a continuously evolving landscape. This week presents new rulings relevant to all media industry professionals, particularly those concerned with meeting FCC guidelines and those working on UK-based shoots.

UK Media Production Fund Approved

In the UK, a new fund was approved to help facilitate the resumption of media production. After months of industry lobbying, the British government has launched an emergency £500M ($646M) film and TV COVID-19 production insurance fund.

This fund was established in an effort to help with the backlog of video shoots, which are estimated to total £1BN ($1.3BN). This solution was needed in order to keep media or video shoots from moving overseas, being pushed to 2021 or abandoned entirely. Now, hundreds of productions, including UK films, broadcasts and other programs can get back on track. These production resumptions will also result in the creation of jobs, helping many freelancers who had been laid off or furloughed to find work.
The fund also comes as a solution to help overcome the current challenge and costs for independent film and media producers to provide COVID-related insurance to their workers.

Verbit is also assisting these media companies in meeting their backlogged video needs for captions and transcriptions. These tools are critical to ensure all media being produced is also accessible and meets the necessary guidelines for all viewers, including those with disabilities. Without captions for example, media companies could end up being subject to decreases in viewership, or worse potential lawsuits. Contact us for more media offering information.

New FCC Fee Increase Ruling

Additionally, The National Association of Broadcasters advocated to reduce expected FCC fee increases. However, the Commission has decided to move forward with its 2020 increase. Meeting FCC compliance and avoiding additional costs spent later is top of mind for media professionals who had also lost significantly due to halts in production timelines.

The NAB’s argument centered around the fact that the fee increase did not reflect the number of full-time Media Bureau employees offering services to the industry. The FCC responded by saying that the radio industry simply lacks an understanding of their methodology.
Now, there will be a net increase in the amount broadcasters pay to the FCC. One slight sigh of relief comes as the Commission made an error in its unit numbers and have therefore increased the number of units used in their calculation to result in a lower fee increase than what was originally expected.

Some smaller wins also come for radio broadcasts based on the new FCC ruling however, including simplified filing procedures for financial hardship waivers and requests for deferments.

Additionally these radio professionals will be privy to an easier process with no hurdles for installment payment plans, reduction of interest rates charged for installments plans and elimination of large down payment requirements.

While keeping these fee increases in mind, media companies can rest assured that they can continue to meet FCC requirements without large impacts to their budgets. Verbit has further customized its tools to the media industry’s needs, such as the addition of SMPTE time codes and improved speaker identification detection on videos and audio, both live and recorded, to assist them with captioning and transcription to meet FCC compliance quickly and efficiently.

For more information or guidance related to the media industry and these changes, feel free to contact us here.