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FCC to study Latino television marketplace

Federal Communications CommissionTelevision Industry

The Federal Communications Commission wants to learn more about the Spanish-language television marketplace.

The regulatory agency that has oversight over the broadcasting industry said Thursday it is launching a study of Latino TV station ownership, programming and viewing.

Noting that recent census data show that 17% of the U.S. population is of Latino origin, the FCC said it wants to encourage broadcast diversity.

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"With today’s announcement, the FCC is further demonstrating its commitment to gather data and fund research and analysis to understand better how the commission's policies promote the public interest," the agency said in a statement. "The commission has long understood that diverse participation in the broadcast industry and access to diverse sources of information are vital to a robust democracy."

Specifically, the FCC wants to learn how much programming aimed at Latino viewers is on television and what role digital multicasting is playing in increasing the amount of Latino content. Many local stations use their digital signals to carry programming for Latinos. The FCC will also analyze ratings  in markets that have a significant Latino population.

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Follow Joe Flint on Twitter @JBFlint.

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