Fiscal “Threat” Posed By NY Pirates Belied By Broadcasters’ Own Data

As a part of the campaign now underway to bring the (nonexistent) hammer down on unlicensed broadcasting in the New York metropolitan area, licensed broadcasters are alleging a variety of “harms” caused by pirate stations. Many of them are vastly overblown, such as the threat of interference they pose to a variety of communications networks, dangers from uncontrolled radiation — and, in the newest charge, economic hardships they cause to licensed stations.

The contention that pirate radio stations infringe on the radio industry’s right to make mad profits was first floated in an April 2015 blog post by Republican FCC Commissioner Mike O’Rielly; he claimed unlicensed broadcasting “causes unacceptable economic harm to legitimate and licensed American broadcasters by stealing listeners.” Read More

Good Riddance to BusRadio

It is with no small sense of satisfaction that I note the passage of BusRadio, a hare-brained idea that, for about the last three years, force-fed advertising into school buses under the guise of “safety” and then crowed to its potential sponsors about the size of its “captive audience.” Details are sketchy, but late last month the company suddenly called it quits, citing adverse market forces.

BusRadio, above and beyond the ethical issues it raised, always seemed to me to be a little bit sketchy. And after several school districts – followed most recently by the FCC – took a closer look at the modus operandi of the business, it would seem investors dried up. And for good reason. Read More