Broadcasters to Appeal Media Ownership Decision to Supreme Court

Dec 2, 2011  •  Post A Comment

The National Association of Broadcasters will ask the Supreme Court to overturn a lower court decision that backs the Federal Communications Commission’s restrictions on media ownership, B&C reports.

Another challenge to the decision will be filed by News Corp., the story says, citing a company source.

The story reports: “There are expected to be a number of petitions filed by the end of the day Monday, which is the deadline for appealing the decision. The Third Circuit Court of Appeals in July upheld the FCC’s 2008 decision not to loosen the TV duopoly, radio ownership or TV-radio crossownership rules and vacated and remanded its loosening of the broadcast/newspaper crossownership rule for failure to meet notice and comment requirements.”

NAB spokesman Dennis Wharton said: "We’re asking the Supreme Court to review the Third Circuit decision because we think it was misguided."

NAB wants the high court to step in to resolve a split in the lower courts. The story reports: “NAB will stress that the Third Circuit and the D.C. circuit looked very differently at the duopoly rules. The D.C. Circuit previously found that the duopoly rules, which limit how many stations one company can own in a market, were arbitrary and capricious. The Third Circuit, in its decision last summer, upheld the duopoly rules.”

News Corp. reportedly intends to push the argument that the scarcity rationale is outdated as a justification for regulating broadcasters in an era when alternates such as satellite, cable, telcos and the Internet have proliferated — similar to the company’s stance when it sought to eliminate the FCC’s indecency regulations.

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