Parties Push for Expedited Briefing on Contract Challenge

Everybody involved has agreed to ask a federal court to expedite its review, or at least part of that review, of a challenge by some major programmers and broadcasters to the FCC's decision to make merger documents — specifically programming/retrans deal documents and work product — available to third parties.

That came in a request for expediting briefing and oral argument filed Wednesday with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. They have proposed that petitioner and intervenor briefs be due Dec. 15; respondent briefs Jan. 2 and reply briefs Jan. 13.

The FCC, joined by Comcast, Time Warner Cable, AT&T, DirecTV, DISH, Charter and the American Cable Association (respondents and their intervenors) told the court they wanted expedited briefing and oral argument. CBS, Scripps, Disney, Time Warner, 21st Century Fox, Univision, Viacom and the National Association of Broadcasters only consented to the expedited briefing schedule while taking no position on speeding up oral argument.

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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.