NAB Seeks Emergency Stay of Online Political File Rules
Says stations will be irreparably harmed if rules go into effect Aug. 2
By John Eggerton -- Broadcasting & Cable, 7/10/2012 4:40:47 PM
Scheduled to take effect Aug. 2, the rules require the top four network affiliated stations in the top 50 markets to start sending any information they must keep in their station paper political files, including spot prices, to the FCC for posting in a national, online database. The FCC will do a year-in check of the process then plans to apply the requirement to all TV stations a year after that.
In its petition, NAB, which has already asked the same court to overturn the rules and the FCC to stay enforcement of them, said the emergency stay was warranted because it is likely to win its court challenge on the merits and that it is likely to suffer competitive harms if there is no stay -- essentially the same arguments it made to the FCC in calling for it to postpone enforcement until the court weighs in.
"NAB's members will suffer irreparable harm absent a stay because the order compels television stations to post the prices for specific advertisements to a public website immediately after the sales occur," NAB said in its filing. "This will place NAB's members at a distinct disadvantage to their non-broadcast competitors, who will not be required to post rate information on the Internet," NAB said.
But wait, there's more: "The balance of hardships and the public interest also favor a stay because the likely harm from requiring immediate posting of detailed price information about specific advertising sales outweighs the benefits of such a requirement," said NAB.
Separately, TV station groups have asked the FCC to reconsider its April decision, offering an alternative where they would supply the FCC with aggregate, rather than individual prices, and expand reporting to categories of political spots not currently required to be reported.
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