Court Won't Force FCC Full-Power Auction Decision

The U.S. Court of Appeals did not rule on spectrum auction stay requests by various LPTVs Friday (March 11), but it did reject a request from a Broadcasters on the outside looking in.

Back on Feb. 22, Walker Broadcasting asked the court to review an FCC decision that it was not eligible for the auction.

Walker had a construction permit for WFBT, ch. 14, in Bath, N.Y., but was never authorized to operate its station said the FCC, because it had failed to demonstrate that its station would not interfere with land mobile, and thus did not get the go-ahead to build the station back in 2009.

Walker appealed that decision to the FCC last year as the FCC was preparing to offer stations, including unbuilt CP’s, a potential windfall. The FCC has yet to act on the petition to reconsider

Walker asked the court to force the FCC to rule and asked it to do so by March 1, which did not happen. The court instead made its ruling Friday.

The court still has to rule on a trio of requests by LPTV station owners to delay the March 29 auction start date.

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.