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DC Circuit Denies Emergency Motion to Broadcasters on Campaign Ads

By Tanya Roth, Esq. on August 03, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

It's election year, and with the election approaching, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals is not swaying on the requirement that broadcast television stations post details of political advertising transactions online.

The National Association of Broadcasters brought a petition to stop the requirement from kicking in. It filed an emergency motion to stay the rules. But the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals denied that motion on July 27.

The disclosure rules were adopted by the Federal Communications Commission in April. The purpose of the rules was to provide insight into campaign spending.

The rule is unfair, says the NAB. It places the broadcasters at an unfair disadvantage while favoring other forms of media and cable competitors. It would require the NAB's members to post prices from "specific advertisements," according to the NAB's denied petition for emergency motion.

As of August 2, the four largest broadcasters, ABC, CBS Corp., Fox and NBC have to upload their files to the FCC's website.

The full decision on the appeal hasn't been rendered yet and is still pending in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. In last Friday's decision, court simply stated that the NAB hadn't met the "stringent requirements" for a stay pending appeal, reports Reuters.

The larger case was filed by the NAB in April. In its petition, the NAB alleged that the FCC's rules are arbitrary, capricious, in violation of the First Amendment's protections on free speech and are beyond the FCC's authority.

The NAB isn't thrilled with the decision but will continue its fight, according to a public statement made by Denise Wharton, the Executive Vice President of Communications of the NAB.

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