WASHINGTON, D.C. May 5, 2022—A group of minority-owned media, civil rights, and public interest groups today filed a petition for rulemaking at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) calling for new data collection and reporting on the diversity of content vendors used by FCC-licensed media and telecommunications companies. FUSE, LLC, an independent, Latino-owned entertainment company dedicated to empowering young, multicultural voices, led the group that included Common Cause, the National Hispanic Media Coalition, Public Knowledge, and the United Church of Christ Media Justice Ministry. The petition proposes establishing a new report that tracks the diversity of content vendors used by FCC licensees, including on traditional platforms like broadcast, cable, and satellite TV, along with affiliated streaming services, like Disney’s Hulu+Live TV and Disney+, Amazon’s Prime, Fox’s Tubi and Alphabet/Google’s YouTube TV.
“The Commission is charged with promoting competition and diversity in the video marketplace yet, despite multiple information-gathering dockets, currently fails regularly to collect and report on data regarding the demographic diversity of vendors providing one of the most critical inputs to the video marketplace: content,” said the petitioners in their filing.
A new content vendor diversity report not only would help the FCC to more accurately measure market competition and diversity but “would help to inform the public regarding the practices of competing firms in the video market, allowing consumers to make decisions about which services to consume in the same way that a nutrition label helps consumers decide what food to buy, or an Environmental, Social, and Governance report helps investors decide what stocks to buy,” said the petitioners. The filing details clear legal authority for the FCC to establish a content vendor diversity report, along with the many federal agencies, from the Commerce Department and Department of Labor to the Department of Education and National Institutes of Health, that already track similar data.
“Today, we take a step toward genuinely embracing diversity in the video marketplace,” said Miguel “Mike” Roggero, CEO of Fuse Media. “As a Latino-owned, independent company, we understand that a competitive and culturally authentic video marketplace features a wide range of voices, including from communities of color. Roggero added, “Accurate data about the market will help foster a more vibrant, inclusive media landscape, which is vital in enabling us to tell stories that are truly representative of all audiences.”
“Our democracy needs a diverse array of voices represented in the media marketplace,” said Yosef Getachew, Media and Democracy Program Director at Common Cause. “While media ownership diversity numbers are dismal, we fail to even collect demographic data on content vendors – a critical component of our media ecosystem. At a time when media conglomerates continue to consolidate, we need mechanisms that help promote diversity and ensure all voices are heard. The FCC must do its part by establishing a content diversity report where the public can better see how the voices of communities of color are reflected in the marketplace.”
“For far too long contributions by Latinos have been overlooked in this country. The narrative portrayed by mainstream media of Latinos is not fully representative of the diversity, strength, and promise of our communities,” said Brenda Victoria Castillo, President & CEO, National Hispanic Media Coalition. “That is why we urge the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to use their rulemaking authority to establish a new annual report focusing on diversity of content vendors used by regulatees in broadcast, cable, broadband, and satellite. This report would help the FCC fulfill their goal of promoting competition and viewpoint diversity, which is essential to shaping and informing the public about the contributions of Latinos to the U.S.”
“The Commission has an obligation to ensure that its licensees are living up to their public interest responsibilities. By more closely examining the diversity of licensees and their programming suppliers, the Commission can identify steps needed to make sure the media ecosystem reflects the nation, and fulfills the information needs of diverse communities,” said John Bergmayer, Legal Director, Public Knowledge.
“Collecting concrete data is an essential step toward improving equity. Much can be accomplished simply by having an accurate picture of diversity in the current marketplace. All people deserve to have an opportunity to see themselves and issues important to them represented in our media and to participate fully in the economic marketplace as content creators,” said Cheryl A. Leanza, policy advisor, United Church of Christ Media Justice Ministry.
Commission Licensees with Major Streaming Services (Petition, P.6)
|Video Distributor||FCC License/Jurisdiction||Streaming Service|
|Comcast||Broadcast, Cable, Broadband, Wireless||Peacock|
|Amazon||Satellite, Broadband||Prime Video, FireTV; FreeVee|
|DISH Network||Satellite, Wireless||SlingTV|
|AT&T||Wireless, Broadband, Satellite, Telecommunications Service||DIRECTV Stream|
|21st Cent. Fox||Broadcast||Tubi|
|Alphabet/Google||Broadband (Google Fiber)||YouTubeTV|
To read the petition for rulemaking, click here.