Videohouse Stay Denied

A federal court has denied the request by Videoquest to stay the March 29 starting date of the FCC's spectrum auction.

"Petitioner has not satisfied the stringent requirements for a stay pending court review," the court said without further elaboration.

That should clear the way for the auction to proceed. The court has already denied a start-date stay request while granting the request by Latina Broadcasters to stay the FCC decision not to allow it in the auction.

The FCC said that Latina will be allowed to participate "provisionally" in the auction pending a decision on its underlying court challenge until it is resolved, which won't be until at least September.

The two stay denials bring with them the court's signal that they are not likely to win those underlying cases, while Latina's comes with the signal it is likely, since one of the main factors in a stay decision is likelihood of success.

The FCC has said it can start the auction on time even allowing Latina back in, but it had said granting the Videohouse stay would have meant months worth of delay.

There could still be a delay, just likely not now in the start date, which is only the date by which broadcasters have to declare their participation and election how they will participate. Instead, it could take a little longer for the FCC to calculate and release its clearing target.

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.