How to Acquire a Television Network

Ted Turner, watch out. All you need to own a TV network is a whole lot of money and a good lawyer. The bad news: The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) isn't accepting applications for new television networks until the transition from analog to digital broadcasting is complete (circa 2006). The good news: Acquisitions are still possible, but you'll have to follow these FCC guidelines.

Contact the current owner of the network you'd like to acquire.

Sign and submit FCC Form 314, the Application for Consent to Assignment of Broadcast Construction Permit or License. Applicants who apply to purchase a station may not take over the operation until the FCC approves the application.

Submit a letter of consummation within 90 days, once Form 314 is approved. Within that same time period, you must submit the Ownership Report, using FCC Form 323 for commercial stations, or FCC Form 323-E for noncommercial educational stations.

File FCC Form 315, the Application for Consent to Transfer of Control of Corporation Holding Broadcast Station Construction Permit or License, when the controlling block of shares of the broadcasting company is transferred to you.

Mail your broadcast applications to the FCC in triplicate along with the appropriate filing fees. The application fee generally runs around $800, with an additional $240 for your license. Applications for noncommercial educational stations do not require a filing fee.


  • Television broadcast regulations appear in Title 47, Sections 73.601 to 73.699 and 73.1001 to 73.5009 of the Code of Federal Regulations. You can access these regulations at or obtain them from the Government Printing Office.

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