Videohouse et al. File Spectrum Auction Court Stay

Another day, another court filing by LPTVs excluded from the FCC's broadcast incentive auction.

Videohouse, Fifth Street Enterprises and WMTM have asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit for an emergency stay of the March 29 start of the auction.

Videohouse had asked the FCC to stay the auction and had given the FCC until March 2 or it would consider the request denied. The FCC did not respond March 2 and the LPTV licensees, Videohouse and the other LPTVs who joined it in its court challenge of the auction, Thursday asked the court to step in. The FCC eventually did issue a stay denial on March 3.

Latina Broadcasters has already asked the court to either stay the FCC's decision not to let it in the auction, or alternatively to delay the auction start.

Both Videohouse et al. and Latina have filed auction challenges with the court, and want it to delay any FCC auction action until those underlying challenges are resolved, which won't be until at least May.

Videohouse et al. wants the court to rule on the request by March 11 and to consider it together with Latina's request.

The court has given the FCC until Friday, March 4, to file its brief in the Latina stay request, with Latina required to file its brief March 7.

Amid all the recent court flurry, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler this week sounded confident the auction would be starting March 29, signaling to the Senate that the starting flag would be dropping on that day.

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.