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C-SPAN Airing Supreme Court Vetting of Media Ownership Dereg Arguments

Supreme Court of the United States
(Image credit: Mike Kline (notkalvin) via Getty Images)

C-SPAN will air/stream the Supreme Court oral argument Tuesday (Jan. 19) in FCC v. Prometheus.

That is the FCC's defense of its 2017 broadcast ownership dereg decision.

The argument is scheduled for 10 a.m. 

Also Read: FCC Deregulates Broadcast Ownership

In November 2017, a politically divided FCC voted to eliminate the newspaper-broadcast and the radio-TV cross-ownership rules; allow dual station ownership in markets with fewer than eight independent voices after the duopoly, creating an opportunity for ownership of two of the top four stations in a market on a case-by-case basis (the FCC did not call it a waiver); eliminate attribution of joint sales agreements as ownership; and create an incubator program.

Also Read: Supremes to Hear Broadcast Dereg Case

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals said the FCC had not sufficiently gauged the impact of those deregulatory changes on minority and female ownership, as the court had told the FCC it must do the last time the circuit weighed in on the FCC's long-standing attempts to loosen regs on broadcasters, and blocked all that deregulation.

Had oral argument been scheduled for after the inauguration of Democrat Joe Biden, it is unlikely the government would have pressed its appeal.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.