News

Court Grants Viacom Stay

4/09/2001 9:35 AM Eastern

A federal court issued an order Friday blocking the Federal Communications
Commission from forcing Viacom Inc. to sell TV stations to comply with FCC
ownership rules.

Viacom, owner of 35 TV stations, reaches 41 percent of TV households. The FCC
gave the company until May 4 to identify the stations it intended to sell to
reach the 35 percent cap on households reached.

Viacom, NBC and Fox are challenging the 35 percent cap in the same court that
issued Friday's stay, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia
Circuit.

In a two-page order, the court said Viacom met the 'stringent standards for a
stay' and barred the FCC from forcing Viacom to sell the stations 'pending
further order of the court.'

In a prepared statement, Viacom said it was 'extremely pleased' with the
stay, adding that the 35 percent cap was 'unfair and unwarranted in light of the
highly competitive nature of the television-station business.'