Univision Radio pays $1 million for resolving “pay-for-play” case

July 27th, 2010 - 5:27 am ICT by BNO News  

WASHINGTON D.C. (BNO NEWS) – Univision Radio entered a Consent Decree with the Federal Communications Commission’s Enforcement Bureau to solve allegations that Univision radio stations or their employees accepted payments from record labels to broadcast certain songs (pay-for-play, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced on Monday.

The pay-for-play consists on a secret payment made by the record label in exchange for the radio stations giving more frequent airplay to selected label’s artists without making the disclosures to listeners required by section 507 of the Communications Act.

“Payola – the idea of pay-for-play – misleads the listening public,” said FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski. “This agreement with Univision underscores the FCC’s focus on consumer protection and our commitment to ensuring that broadcasters play it straight with the public.”

As part of the settlement with FCC, Univision will pay $1 million to the U.S. Treasury. The Consent Decree also obligates the media network to implement certain business reforms and compliance measures designed to ensure future compliance with the FCC’s rules.

The settlement includes a general prohibition on Univision stations and employees to accept payments in exchange for airplay, except regarding with sponsorship deals. It also limits the size of gifts, concert tickets, and other valuable items that Univision can accept from labels.

The Commission will appoint a Compliance Officer and regional Compliance Contacts responsible for monitoring and reporting company performance under the agreement. Last, there will be a regular training of programming personnel on payola restrictions.

“Broadcasters play a critical role in educating and entertaining the public and along with that special role comes some fundamental obligations. We will continue to work with other government agencies to protect consumers and prevent them from being misled,” said FCC Enforcement Bureau Chief Michele Ellison.

Related Stories

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in Business |