Architectural Regulation and the Fcc

8 Pages Posted: 28 Sep 2005

See all articles by Christopher S. Yoo

Christopher S. Yoo

University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School; University of Pennsylvania - Annenberg School for Communication; University of Pennsylvania - School of Engineering and Applied Science


First Amendment analyses of media regulation have long focused on government efforts to influence media content directly. In contrast, ownership restrictions and other forms of structural regulation have generally been thought to pose fewer First Amendment concerns. But structural regulation - such as efforts to foster free television over pay television, rate regulation of cable television, restrictions on the number of outlets one entity can own in any media market, and regulations limiting vertical integration in television and radio - have had a dramatic influence on program content. Not only can structural regulations reduce the overall quantity and quality of media programming, but they can also create biases against the diversity of media content. Put another way, structural regulation often represents a form of "architectural censorship".

Keywords: media, media regulation, media content, ownership restrictions, structural regulations, television, tv, cable tv, free tv, cable television, cable, media markets, vertical integration, radio, program content, media programming, FCC, censorship, First Amendment

JEL Classification: K2, L82, O33

Suggested Citation

Yoo, Christopher S., Architectural Regulation and the Fcc. Regulation, Vol. 28, No. 1, pp. 22-29, Spring 2005, Available at SSRN:

Christopher S. Yoo (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School ( email )

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University of Pennsylvania - Annenberg School for Communication ( email )

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University of Pennsylvania - School of Engineering and Applied Science ( email )

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