NAB Goes to Court Over New Disclosure Rules

The FCC in January adopted the rules to better determine whether TV broadcasters are complying with public interest obligations.
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NAB has filed suit in U.S. District Court to block new FCC expanded reporting requirements for television stations. The new rules are expected to go into effect in the second quarter.

NAB argues that the new disclosure rules are “arbitrary and capricious; contrary to law; and unconstitutional,” in a petition filed late last week.

The FCC in January adopted the rules to better determine whether TV broadcasters are complying with public interest obligations. The rules require television stations to file a new form on a quarterly basis specifying their programming in minute detail, breaking down their programming by specific categories. Stations would also be required to post their public inspection files on their Web sites.

“America’s broadcasters have no quarrel with serving the public interest. Indeed, public service is the lifeblood of our business,” said NAB EVP Dennis Wharton. “Our concern with the new FCC rules are their scale and scope, and the burden involved in complying with this new mandate, particularly for smaller stations.”

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