CBS, Fox and NBC are asking the federal appeals court in Philadelphia to
transfer appeals of the Federal Communications Commission’s newly relaxed
broadcast-ownership limits to the appeals court in Washington, D.C.
The networks are challenging the commission’s decision to limit its hike in
the national TV ownership cap to 45% of TV households rather than going higher
or eliminating the cap altogether.
They say the D.C. court is the proper venue because the FCC’s recent
rulemaking was instigated on order from that court.
"A long and unbroken line of precedent" recognizes that the originating court
is a proper venue for review of agency decisions resulting from a court remand,
the nets’ attorneys told the Philadelphia court in an Aug. 22 petition.
The Philadelphia court was picked at random last week in a lottery of several
courts in which challengers to the new FCC rules filed appeals.
Prometheus Radio Project, an advocacy group for low-power radio, filed the
appeal that allowed that court to be included in the lottery.
Allies of Prometheus, such as public advocacy groups opposed to media
deregulation, have long been critical of the D.C. court’s hostility to
preserving FCC ownership limits.
Six appeals were filed in the D.C. court, primarily by industry