Washington

NAB Asks Court to Delay Broadcaster Political File Appeal

Suggests experience with current election could lead it to drop that appeal, and if not FCC could still act on outstanding petition 9/17/2012 05:07:33 PM Eastern

Broadcasters have asked a federal court to delay hearing its
appeal of the FCC's political file online posting requirement, suggesting that
experience gained from this election cycle will help it determine how, and if,
to proceed. NAB says the FCC and its supporters are OK with pushing back the
schedule.

In a petition to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District
of Columbia, the NAB asked the court to defer NAB's opening brief from Oct. 4
to Feb. 15, 2013.

Back
in April,
the FCC voted to require the top four affiliates in the top 50
markets to start filing their political files online, which went into effect
Aug. 2. Both the FCC and the appeals court rejected broadcaster requests for
stays.

The
FCC still has a petition for reconsideration from broadcast groups before it,

and in asking the court top hold off, NAB points out that the FCC could act on
that, and has also said it would review the results of from the 200 station
postings before it applies that requirement to all other stations starting in
2014.

"Based on experience gained during the 2012 election
cycle, NAB may conclude that it is not necessary to proceed with this
case," NAB said. And if, instead, the results reinforce its argument that
"requiring television stations to post the prices for specific
advertisements to a public website immediately after the sales occur will cause
serious competitive harm and place NAB's members at a significant disadvantage
to non-broadcast competitors who are not required to post rate information on
the Internet." the FCC could still act on its petition for
reconsideration, which offered up an alternative where stations would provide
aggregate rather than individual prices.

NAB offered to provide a status report to the court in
January on any "relevant developments."

Events
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