Broadcasters Take FCC to Court Over Political File Posting

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The National Association of Broadcasters has taken the FCC to court over its decision last month to make broadcasters put their political files online.

In a filing with the U.S. Federal Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, NAB says the FCC was arbitrary and capricious.

Broadcasters tried to reach a compromise whereby they would not have to put actual prices online, but the commission majority said since those prices were available in individual station files, it was simply bringing that congressionally-mandated reporting requirement into the digital age.

NAB wants the court to vacate the FCC order.

The commission will initially require the online political posting from TV stations affiliated with the Big Four networks in the top 50 markets -- within 30 days after the rules take effect -- then the rest of the stations two years after that. The other public files must be posted by all stations within six months after the rules go into effect. It will not require posting existing political file information (it must be kept for two years), only new information going forward.

The commission will examine the impact of the political file online posting after a year, before it applies to all stations.

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