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Mambo Petition For Waiver Of Network Representation Rule

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Released: December 20, 2011

Federal Communications Commission

DA 11-2039

Before the

Federal Communications Commission

Washington, D.C. 20554

In the matter of
)
)
Mambo, LLC (GenTV)
)
MB Docket No. 10-161
)
)
Petition for Waiver of Section 73.658(i)
)
of the Commission’s Rules
)

ORDER

Adopted: December 19, 2011

Released: December 20, 2011

By the Chief, Media Bureau:
1. Mambo, LLC (“Mambo”) filed a petition seeking a permanent waiver of Section 73.658(i) of
the Commission’s rules (“Petition”),1 which prohibits broadcast stations from being represented by their
affiliated networks in the spot sales television advertising market.2 The Petition is unopposed.3 For the
reasons outlined below, the Bureau grants the Petition for Waiver.
2. In the Petition, Mambo states that it is in the process of assembling affiliates nationally to air
the content of a new Spanish-language video programming service targeting Hispanic viewers primarily
of non-Mexican descent (GenTV).4 It argues that waiver of the “network representation” rule would
serve the public interest, as it would “enhance – rather than impede - program diversity and competition
among Spanish-language programming services.”5 Furthermore, Mambo argues that the waiver is
necessary in order to ensure a level playing field by holding Mambo to the same regulatory requirements
of its established competitors6 in the U.S. Spanish-language broadcast television market, because the


1 Mambo, LLC Petition for Waiver of Section 73.658(i) of the Commission’s Rules with Respect to Network
Representation at 1 (filed March 4, 2010) (“Petition”). The Bureau released a Public Notice in which it sought
comment on the Petition; there were no comments or replies filed. Comment Dates Established for Mambo Petition
for Waiver of 47 C.F.R. § 73.658(i), the Network Representation Rule
, MB Docket No. 10-89, Public Notice, DA
10-775 (rel. August 9, 2010).
2 We have considered Mambo’s Petition to be a request for waiver of the network representation rule on behalf of
any GenTV-affiliated broadcast station, but only as it applies to representation by GenTV. Section 73.658(i) of the
Commission’s Rules, 47 C.F.R. § 73.658(i), provides that:
No license shall be granted to a television broadcast station which is represented for the sale of non-
network time by a network organization or by an organization directly or indirectly controlled by or under
common control with a network organization, if the station has any contract, arrangement or
understanding, express or implied, which provides for the affiliation of the station with such network
organization: Provided, however, That this rule shall not be applicable to stations licensed to a network
organization or to a subsidiary of a network organization.
3 Petitioner filed a supplement to its petition on May 25, 2010, noting the Bureau’s grant of a similar waiver in the
Estrella Order. Liberman Television LLC Petition for Waiver of Section 73.658(i) of the Commission’s Rules, MB
Docket No. 09-192, Order, 25 FCC Rcd. 4725 (MB 2010) (Estrella Order).
4 Petition at 3.
5 Id.
6 Competing networks include Univision, Telemundo and Azteca. Id. at 5.

Federal Communications Commission

DA 11-2039

Commission has previously granted permanent waivers of this rule to the operators of other national
Spanish-language networks.7
3. In the Univision and Telemundo Waiver Order, the Commission relied upon Univision’s
statement that traditional national sales firms lack “the specialized skill and experience required to market
successfully Spanish-language television," and Telemundo’s argument that Spanish-language stations
“cannot themselves effectively secure national spot advertising sales.”8 In the Azteca Order, the Media
Bureau relied on Azteca’s similar assertion that, absent national coordination, resources are not available
to its affiliates to market national spot advertising competitively.9 In the Estrella Order, the Media
Bureau relied on Liberman’s contention that without national coordination discrepancies will persist
between English and Spanish-language broadcasts in terms of attainable revenue per viewer.10 In all three
cases, the evidence before the Commission supported the petitioners’ argument that waiver of the network
representation rule had been and would be beneficial to the development of foreign language networks,11
which provide important public benefits, including “encouraging the growth and development of new
networks; fostering foreign-language programming; increasing programming diversity; [and]
strengthening competition among stations.”12
4. Mambo states that the waiver is necessary to “level the playing field” between GenTV, which
intends to provide specialized programming to underserved ethnic populations and the larger networks in
the Spanish-language market.13 It contends that granting GenTV a waiver of the network representation
rule is essential if its affiliates are to compete effectively with affiliates of Spanish-language networks that
operate without the restrictions of the network representation rule, in part because many GenTV affiliates
lack the “experience and resources” to market themselves to advertisers.14 In particular, Mambo
identifies network sales representation as essential for Spanish-language broadcast stations because
traditional sales firms lack the necessary market expertise to effectively represent the specific interests of
the Spanish-language market.15 Furthermore, Mambo argues that grant of the waiver to GenTV will result
in the same broad benefits that the Commission found in waiving the rule for other Spanish-language
networks.16 Mambo argues this is particularly true given the recent recession and “industry-wide budget
cuts in television advertising expenditures.”17 Mambo also maintains that there will be no harms to the
public interest as a result of the waiver, and that it will increase program diversity and competition in the


7 Id. at 2. See Amendment of § 73.658(i) of the Commission’s Rules, BC Docket No. 78-309, Report and Order, 5
FCC Rcd 7280 (1990) (Univision and Telemundo Waiver Order) (granting permanent waivers of the rule to
networks including Univision Communications, Inc. and Telemundo Group, Inc.); Azteca International Corporation
Petition for Waiver of Section 73.658(i) of the Commission’s Rules
, Broadcast Special Relief Petition BSR-001,
Order, 18 FCC Rcd. 10662 (MB 2003) (Azteca Order) (granting a permanent waiver of the rule to Azteca America);
Estrella Order (granting a permanent waiver of the rule to Estrella TV).
8 Waiver Order at 7281.
9 Azteca Order at 10663.
10 Estrella Order at 4726.
11 Waiver Order at 7281; Azteca Order at 10663.
12 Estrella Order at 4726 (citing Azteca Order at 10663).
13 Petition at 9, 4.
14 Id. at 10, citing Declaration of Luis Calle, Mambo, LLC Vice-President of Operations.
15 Id.
16 Id at9.
17 Id. at 9.
2

Federal Communications Commission

DA 11-2039

marketplace.18 As noted above, we received no oppositions to the Petition.
5. For the same reasons the Commission granted waivers to Univision, Telemundo, Azteca
America, and Liberman Television LLC, and in recognition of the competitive imbalance that could result
in the absence of a waiver, the Bureau finds good cause to grant GenTV a permanent waiver of the
network representation prohibition in Section 73.658(i) of the Commission’s rules.19
6. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that the Petition for Waiver of Section 73.658(i) of the
Commission’s rules filed by Mambo, LLC IS GRANTED.
7. This action is taken pursuant to authority delegated by Sections 0.61(h) and 0.283 of the
Commission’s rules, 47 C.FR. §§ 0.61(h), 0.283.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
William T. Lake
Chief, Media Bureau


18 Id. at 12, 4.
19 5 U.S.C, § 553(b)(3)(B). The Commission may waive its rules where good cause is shown. See 47 C.F.R. § 1.3;
Wait Radio v. FCC, 418 F.2d 1153, 1157 (D.C. Cir. 1969).
3

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