Viacom/CBS does not have to divest TV stations that exceed ownership limits while a federal court reviews those limits, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ordered on Friday.
Viacom/CBS had asked the court to stay the FCC's May 4 divestiture deadline to sell stations. When the two companies merged last year, the joined entity owned stations covering 41% of the 100 million TV homes in the country, 6% more than any one company is allowed to own under the 35% ownership cap.
The FCC required divestiture as part of its merger approval. The D.C. Appeals Court is reviewing whether the 35% cap is constitutional, under a petition brought by Viacom/CBS, News Corp. and NBC. - Paige Albiniak