The Arbitron-defined market of “Puerto Rico” is about the size of Connecticut and with half a million more people. By comparison, Connecticut is parsed into the seven markets of Hartford, New Haven, New London, Fairfield, Bridgeport, Stamford and Danbury. somthing is already amis and I haven't even addressed topography.
The mountain ranges central to the island mean there’s almost no signal overlap among the three main population centers, of San Juan, Mayaguez and Ponce. Almost any operator intending to cover the market needs a stick for each market. But this creates an ownership concentraion problem. The existing rules are based on a 30 percent horizontal ownership cap.
All along of course the Bush-appointed FCC comissioners have been trying to limit ownership caps entirely. This is not being done in defence of Puerto Rico. Mostly this is has been persued by lapdog congressmen the at the behest of their mediaowning campaign contributors. Thankfully in 2005 the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit blocked their efforts. Of course FCC Chairman Kevin J. Martin continues to be a heathen jackass of perviously unheralded proportions. But let's get back to the island pseudo-state shall we?
As I said the FCC has been known to grant exceptions in Puerto Rico. Most recently Arso Broadcasting was permitted to add another station to its existing cluster of 13 stations (6 AM and 7 FM) signals in the market. On the table was 102.3 WMIO, serving Mayaguez primarily.
But as exciting as all thi sis, why is it that comperably sized connecticut is sliced into 7 markets and Puerto Rico only one? Is it racial? I doubt it. The fact is, that Hawaii has a similar problem, and it too is "one island, one market."