Court Rejects Cable-Case Appeal


A federal court in Washington, D.C., rejected a request from public-interest
groups to rehear arguments in a case that struck key cable-ownership rules.

In March, a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia
overturned, among other things, a Federal Communications Commission rule that
limited one cable operator to 30 percent of pay TV subscribers.

Media Access Project, a public-interest law firm, as well as consumer groups
sought rehearing by the full D.C. Circuit, but the court rejected that request
in a recent order.

'We got an order in the mail yesterday. This is not exactly unexpected. The
D.C. Circuit grants perhaps three or four a year out of a couple of hundred of
these things that are filed,' MAP president Andrew Jay Schwartzman said.

Schwartzman added that MAP would 'almost certainly' file an appeal in the
U.S. Supreme Court. FCC chairman Michael Powell said in April that he prefers
not to defend the FCC's cable cap in the Supreme Court.