Washington

NAB Asks Court to Hold Off on Challenge to FCC Political File Rule

Says it makes sense to give FCC time to consider petition for reconsideration conduct planned review 1/19/2013 02:04:37 AM Eastern

The National Association of Broadcasters has asked the U.S.
Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia not to act on the association's
challenge to the FCC's online political file rule until the commission has had
a chance to modify them or review the rules' impact.

In a motion filed with the court on Friday to hold the case
in abeyance, which NAB says the FCC does not oppose, the association says it makes
more sense for the court to wait until the FCC either rules on a petition for
reconsideration filed by broadcast groups, or for the FCC's one-year review of
the rule -- which must begin no later than July 1, 2013 -- that the FCC
promised when it voted in August to require broadcasters to upload political
files to an FCC-administered database.

The station group petition suggested that the FCC modify the
rule by requiring only that broadcasters supply aggregate figures, rather than
breakouts of specific pricing information, which they argue could give their
cable and other competitors an unfair advantage.

Back in September, the court agreed to an NAB request to
defer the due date of its opening brief from October to February to provide the
FCC and NAB time to evaluate the rule during the campaign season.

The rule currently applies to affiliates of the top four
networks in the top 50 markets, but will eventually extend to all TV stations.

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