News

Nets Vie for Venue Change in Ownership Battle

8/25/2003 10:27 AM Eastern

Washington -- Three TV networks want the case challenging
new federal broadcast ownership rules moved from a federal appeals court in
Philadelphia to a similar venue in Washington, D.C., that has issued several
rulings favorable to proponents of deregulation.

The motion for a change of venue was filed by NBC, CBS, and Fox last Friday,
two sources said Monday.

The three networks have already filed an appeal challenging broadcast
ownership rules adopted by the Federal Communications Commission on June 2, but
they did not specifically state want provisions they oppose, one source
said.

It's more than likely that NBC, CBS, and Fox will challenge the FCC's
decision to raise the national TV ownership cap from 35 percent to 45 percent
instead of abolishing it.

Legislation is moving through Congress to restore the 35 percent cap.

After publication of the FCC's rules in early August, appeals were filed in
at least four circuit courts, which required the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict
Litigation to conduct a lottery to determine the assignment of the case.

The Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit in Philadelphia was selected in the
lottery.

In February 2002, a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit
struck down the FCC's decision to retain the 35 percent cap.

The same court also struck down cable ownership and channel occupancy rules
as well as rules
governing the common ownership of two TV stations in the
same market.

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