Court Sets May 9 Argument for Spectrum Auction Challenge

The court challenge to the FCC's incentive auction lodged by Videohouse et al. has gotten a May 9 oral argument date, which means likely no decision until at least June.

The court did not say which three-judge panel will hear the case or how much time each side will get, though 20 minutes to a half hour each would be in the ballpark. The court did say it would likely announce the panel early next month.

Videohouse (Fifth Street Enterprises and WMTM LLC, the "et al." in the title did not join it) have also asked the court to stay the beginning of the auction until it can come out with that decision. The FCC denied a similar request.

Videohouse says it should not have been excluded from the auction and wanst the FCC to put it in and protect itsr signals in the post-auction repack.

The FCC also has a March 8, 4 p.m., deadline to brief the court on why it should follow suit and deny the stay request as well. Videohouse has until 4 p.m. March 9 to tell the court why it should grant the stay.

John Eggerton

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.