The FCC is considering a petition that, if passed, would give network affiliate television stations more say so in how they use their airtime. The issue is another indication of the weakening of the network-affiliate relationship.
The document, called the Network Affiliated Stations Alliance (NASA) petition, was one of many items distributed to FCC members for consideration. Stations that signed the petition want more control over the content they broadcast but don't produce themselves.
During congressional hearings on indecency issues in the past two years, some station owners have argued they don't have the power or advance notice to preempt network programming for its content. They asked the FCC for more control over their airtime.
The networks countered that the stations actually want greater ability to preempt time to air more profitable programming in which commercial time is not shared with the network.