Court Of Appeals Denies FCC/NAB Petition To Rehear Rule Change Dismissal

FCC Federal Communications CommissionThe U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals has denied the FCC and NAB’s request for a full-court review of the previous decision to vacate the FCC’s 2017 broadcast media ownership deregulation.

The overturned rule changes included:

  • Eliminating the newspaper/broadcast cross-ownership rule preventing a company from operating a newspaper and a broadcast outlet in the same market.
  • Eliminating the radio/television ownership subcaps so a television station no longer counts towards the limit of eight radio stations (maximum of five on each band) that a company can own.
  • Eliminating the requirement that at least eight independently owned television stations must remain in the market following the combination of two television stations in a market
  • Modifying the ban against common ownership of two top-four rated tv stations in a market to allow waivers on a case-by-case basis
  • Eliminating the JSA Attribution Rule requiring television stations to count a station it sells more than 15% of ad time for under the ownership cap.

The next potential step for the FCC would be to seek the Supreme Court to take up the case.

Original Report 11/7: After the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the FCC’s 2017 changes to the ownership rules in September, the FCC and NAB have filed a Petition For Review requesting a full-court review of a three-judge panel decision vacating its broadcast media ownership deregulation decision.

The changes had included eliminating the newspaper/broadcast cross-ownership rule preventing a company from operating a newspaper and a broadcast outlet in the same market, eliminating the ownership subcaps so a television station no longer counts towards the limit of eight radio stations (maximum of five on each band) that a company can own, the requirement that at least eight independently owned television stations must remain in the market following the combination of two television stations in a market, the ban against common ownership of two top-four rated tv stations in a market to allow waivers on a case-by-case basis, and liminating the JSA Attribution Rule requiring television stations to count a station it sells more than 15% of ad time for under the ownership cap. It also prevented the FCC from proceeding with its intended plan to further deregulate the ownership limits in markets.

The organizations are seeking to have the full Court of Appeals hear the case rather than the three person panel which ruled in September.

The FCC’s petition can be read here and the NAB’s here.

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