WASHINGTON, DC -- NAB announced today it intends to file a petition at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit challenging the Federal Communications Commission's 3-2 decision on March 31 prohibiting joint sales agreements between two television stations, while failing to complete a required review of its broadcast ownership restrictions.
Congress requires the FCC every four years to review its ownership rules to "determine whether any of [them] are necessary in the public interest as the result of competition," and "repeal or modify any regulation" no longer in the public interest. In its petition, NAB will explain that the FCC violated this congressional mandate by failing to complete its 2010 review.
NAB's petition will also challenge the FCC's decision to treat agreements between two television stations for the sale of advertising time as an ownership interest prohibited in most markets under its local television ownership rule – a rule that the FCC failed to determine is "in the public interest as the result of competition."
"NAB believes that a fact-based examination of today's marketplace would show that FCC ownership restrictions against free and local broadcasters are outdated in a world of national pay TV giants," said NAB Executive Vice President of Communications Dennis Wharton. "These rules – some of which have not been altered since 1975 – place broadcasters at a competitive disadvantage as we strive to continue delivering news, entertainment and lifeline programming to local communities across America.
"We salute Commissioners Pai and O'Rielly for their strong dissent in this split FCC decision and look forward to swift judicial review."
NAB understands that at least two other broadcast companies – Nexstar Broadcasting Group and Howard Stirk Holdings – will also challenge the FCC's JSA ban.
The National Association of Broadcasters is the premier advocacy association for America's broadcasters. NAB advances radio and television interests in legislative, regulatory and public affairs. Through advocacy, education and innovation, NAB enables broadcasters to best serve their communities, strengthen their businesses and seize new opportunities in the digital age. Learn more at www.nab.org.