NAB Asks FCC to Stay Online Public File Rules

Trade group has also sought judicial review
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NAB is now seeking a stay of the FCC’s new online public file rules for television.

The issue is important to radio as well because experts believe the commission wants to require radio to place its public files online in the future.

The trade group had previously filed a petition for review with a federal appeals court. It’s asking the commission to delay the Aug. 2 effective date of the new rules pending the outcome of judicial review.

The new rules require affiliates of ABC, CBS, NBC or Fox in the top 50 markets to send their political files to the commission for posting in an online database managed by the agency. The rest of the TV stations would need to comply within two years.

NAB calls the rule “arbitrary and capricious.” The rule would harm TV stations because they’d be required to post the prices paid for specific ads online immediately after the spots were sold, placing them at a disadvantage to competitors like satellite TV and cable, who don’t have the same requirement, according to NAB.

The rule would be burdensome as well, says NAB: “Negotiations between candidates go on continuously during the political season and often occur by telephone.Consequently, requiring broadcasters to post detailed records of political ad buyson the Internet on an almost real-time basis would impose a significant burden ontelevision stations.”

Political advertisers spend more than a billion dollars on television advertising in election years.If TV stations lose even a fraction of that because of the new rule, they’d have no way to recoup their losses, argues NAB, which says the FCC rejected an alternative proposal from broadcasters.

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