Consumer advocates plan to ask the FCC late Friday to block FOX TV's acquisition of Chris-Craft stations. Georgetown University's Institute for Public Representation was expected to argue that the deal would violate the FCC's ownership rules and decrease competition in TV markets. FOX, which asked for permission to buy Chris-Craft in September, is asking the FCC to delay any required station divestitures until mid 2002. With the merger, Fox's national coverage will rise to 41% (the cap is 35%).
The company also asked that its waiver allowing ownership of the
New York Post
and WNYW-TV should remain valid post-merger, even though it would have a TV duopoly in New York with Chris-Craft's WWOR-TV. Consumer advocates say Fox's pleas should be denied because they violate the intent of the TV duopoly rules.
On a related note, the FCC in the next two weeks is expected to complete its review of TV duopoly rules issued last year. No big changes are expected.