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Broadcasters Ask Court to Block Disclosure Mandate

NAB and its allies continue to duke it out with the FCC over content sponsored by foreign governments

NAB logo white frameSeveral prominent U.S. broadcast associations are asking a federal court to block an FCC order that mandates disclosures for foreign government-sponsored programming.

The request was filed Wednesday by the National Association of Broadcasters, the Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council and the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

They previously filed a lawsuit with the court challenging the FCC order. They’ve argued that the commission lacks the authority to “impose the investigatory requirements mandated by the order,” lacked justification for the rules and failed to address problems with undisclosed foreign governmental programming on cable systems and the Internet, “which is where the issue primarily exists.” They call the action unnecessary and overly burdensome, and in violation of the Communications Act, the Administrative Procedure Act and the First Amendment.

[Related: “FCC Denies NAB Stay Petition on Foreign Sponsorship ID Rules”]

The FCC adopted amended foreign-sponsorship identification rules in April to target situations where a station broadcasts material sponsored by a foreign governmental entity. The new rules require disclosure of leased programming sponsored by foreign governmental entities.

The commission said its modified regulations further the critical goal of transparency and it applies them to foreign governments, political parties and their agents.