Court Rejects TV Ownership Limits - Radio World

Court Rejects TV Ownership Limits

Court Rejects TV Ownership Limits
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NAB is not happy a federal appeals court ordered the FCC to reconsider TV's national 35% audience cap. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia also struck down the rule that prevents co-ownership of cable and TV stations in a market.
The FCC's decision in 1998 to keep the cap was "arbitrary and capricious" wrote U.S. Circuit Court Judge Douglas Ginsburg.
The decision likely opens to door to TV consolidation, which has not happened to the extent it has for radio since passage of the 1996 telecom act.
"The 35% television ownership cap has been critically important in preserving the network-affiliate relationship that has made the U.S. system of free, over-the-air broadcasting the envy of the world. This rule has been instrumental in promoting localism and diversity. NAB will continue to build a solid record to convince the FCC, Congress, and the courts to preserve the 35% cap," stated NAB President/CEO Eddie Fritts.
"We're also disappointed the court vacated the cable/broadcast
cross-ownership rules, particularly given the absence of cable DTV carriage rules."
When still a commissioner, Michael Powell, now chairman, disagreed with the Democratic majority about the wisdom of retaining both rules.

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