Court Approves NAB Request to Expedite Auction Lawsuit

WASHINGTON—The United States Court of Appeals has granted NAB’s request for expedited consideration of its lawsuit against the FCC over certain portions of the commission’s upcoming spectrum auction next year.

In an order issued today, the court, based in the District of Columbia, set up a schedule that would begin with a petitioner’s brief due by Oct. 6, 2014 with Final Briefs slated for Dec. 18, 2014. The court warned that the schedule could be altered if additional petitions for review are filed. It also requested that the involved parties clarify their arguments to accelerate the process by avoiding the overuse of acronyms, particularly from those entities "that are not widely known.”

In August, the NAB filed suit against the FCC in the U.S. District Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia, claiming that the commission’s use of a new software program to determine broadcast coverage areas after spectrum auctions will negatively affect coverage for those stations not participating in the spectrum auctions.

A week after filing the suit, the association asked the court to sidestep the normal timeline for review and expedite the process, claiming that a decision made after the auctions commence could cause jeopardize the auction’s success.

Tom Butts

Tom has covered the broadcast technology market for the past 25 years, including three years handling member communications for the National Association of Broadcasters followed by a year as editor of Video Technology News and DTV Business executive newsletters for Phillips Publishing. In 1999 he launched for internet B2B portal Verticalnet. He is also a charter member of the CTA's Academy of Digital TV Pioneers. Since 2001, he has been editor-in-chief of TV Tech (, the leading source of news and information on broadcast and related media technology and is a frequent contributor and moderator to the brand’s Tech Leadership events.