Ok, we finally have an oral argument date in broadcasters’ battle with the FCC over media-ownership rules.
After the last-minute transfer of the case from D.C. to Philadelphia, we were despairing of ever getting a decision on no less than broadcasting’s regulatory future—except ones from the FCC that either kicked the can down the street or kicked broadcasters to the curb.
The FCC under chairman Tom Wheeler pushed a decision into the middle of this year. And now, perhaps to help it with that decision, the Third Circuit has set April 19 for arguments in the many challenges to the commission’s March, 2014 decision to make some joint sales agreements attributable as ownership interests. Plus there are more general challenges to FCC inaction on media-ownership rule reviews, and efforts to boost diversity. Whatever the court decides, the FCC can’t keep acting as though broadcasting is not competing with cable and online video.
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