D.C. Court Is Hearing Challenge to FCC's UHF Discount Decision
Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: D.C. Court Is Hearing Challenge to FCC's UHF Discount Decision

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Solano County, California
    Posts
    7,527

    D.C. Court Is Hearing Challenge to FCC's UHF Discount Decision

    https://www.broadcastingcable.com/ne...count-decision

    They said the decision to reinstate the cap is arbitrary and capricious—and thus violates the Administrative Procedure Act—because it is premised on a move—reconsidering the 39% cap—that the FCC does not have the authority to make because the 39% figure was established by Congress.

    The previous Democratic-led FCC had eliminated the discount as an outmoded artifact of the analog TV era. The FCC responded in its brief that it was reasonable to reinstate the UHF discount immediately while it considers adjusting the national audience reach cap, that it has the authority to adjust that cap, and that the discount and the cap have to be considered together because the UHF discount is meaningless except in relation to the cap.

    The FCC’s decision to restore temporarily a settled framework that had previously been in place for three decades rests well within its discretion under the Administrative Procedure Act, other Congressional enactments, and its own rules," the FCC told the court in asking it to reject the various groups' challenges.

    The case could throw a wrench into the Sinclair-Tribune deal given that without the discount a Sinclair-Tribune combo would far exceed the 39% national ownership cap. According to sources, Justice is vetting Sinclair's latest spin-off proposal, but the deal can't get a final decision until the FCC has put the latest iteration of the deal out for public comment of at least 30 days, with at least seven days more for responses to those comments, then renders its decision. Justice vets it for antitrust issues, while the FCC looks beyond competition to a deal's positive or negative impact on the public interest.

    So, if the deal did not close before the court rendered a decision, and the decision reversed the FCC and eliminated the discount, the deal could not get done. But if the deal closed before a decision eliminating the discount, it could not be unwound by a court decision vacating the FCC's reinstatement of the cap.

    Oral argument will be brief--15 minutes per side--beginning at 9:30 a.m. It is the first case on the docket for the three-judge panel of Judges Patricia Millett, Cornelia Pillard, and Gregory Katsas. Coincidentally, this week also marked the deadline for comments in the FCC's review of the 39% cap and UHF discount. The fact that the discount helped Sinclair was one of the talking points of MVPDs opposed to raising the 39% cap, including de facto raising it via the discount.

    Rep. Tony Cárdenas (D-Calif.), no fan of the proposed merger, says the FCC should wait until the court renders a decision before it renders its decision on Sinclair-Tribune, arguing that to allow the deal if the court then eliminates the discount would create "FCC-sanctioned" dominance of the broadcast space by Sinclair.
    This time the UHF Discount debates in the court is going to include the fallout of the Sinclair/Tribune talks also its an ownership cap thats being discussed here.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Solano County, California
    Posts
    7,527

  3. #3
    The FCC's reversal seems to be out of place with their stated agenda of eliminating outdated rules. It's obvious that the UHF discount was outdated.

  4. #4
    UHF discount? Actually UHF frequencies are far superior for transmitting digital signals.
    In the frequency auction some stations took partial buyouts to trade DOWN to VHF channels.

    Does the FCC EVER change their policies to catch-up with changes that were instigated by their other policies??

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by FreddyE1977 View Post
    UHF discount? Actually UHF frequencies are far superior for transmitting digital signals.
    In the frequency auction some stations took partial buyouts to trade DOWN to VHF channels.
    Exactly, which is why the judge is asking the FCC to defend its rule change. Seems like they made the rule change specifically to benefit Sinclair.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by TheBigA View Post
    Seems like they made the rule change specifically to benefit Sinclair.
    Just a recent example of; if enough seated Congress-people stop by and recommend approving the Sinclair/Tribune deal, the skids will be greased. It's always about protecting funding. And since the FCC is an agency funded by Congress, the Commission remembers where their bread is buttered.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Solano County, California
    Posts
    7,527
    https://tvnewscheck.com/article/top-...unt-challenge/


    Update the courts uphold UHF discount.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by RadioPatrol View Post


    Update the courts uphold UHF discount.
    I know that's what the headline says, but it's not what the article says. Here's what the article says:

    "A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington today dismissed a challenge to the FCC’s restoration last fall of the so-called UHF discount."

    They dismissed the challenge because they felt the parties making the challenge weren't qualified to challenge. That says to me that someone else should challenge the rule, or even better, Congress should get involved. This is an obviously dated rule that was restored for only one reason: So Sinclair could buy Tribune. Now the FCC has realized there were other issues with Sinclair's proposal, and have sent the entire proposal to another court. Clearly, there are problems here, in restoring a dated rule, and in a company creating shell companies to bypass ownership rules.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  




     
Our Conferences
Useful Contacts
Community


Contact Us