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Philly Court Won't Rehear Nets' Transfer Request

The Federal Appeals Court in Philadelphia Wednesday denied the broadcast networks' request for a rehearing on their bid to move judicial review of the Federal Communications Commission's new broadcast-ownership rules to a sister court in Washington, D.C.

The Philadelphia court did not elaborate on its decision to deny rehearing.

When the initial request was rejected, the Philadelphia court ruled that it was equally qualified as the Washington panel. The networks argued that the panel in the nation's capital is better prepared for the case because it tackled previous ownership cases.

Many said the networks were motivated by a desire to have the case heard in a venue that has been hostile to FCC ownership restrictions. CBS, Fox and NBC are fighting an FCC decision to lift the national TV-ownership cap from 35% of television households to 45%. The networks would like to see a higher limit, if not outright elimination of the cap.