Third Circuit Denies FCC Appeal on Broadcast Dereg Decision

WASHINGTON—If the FCC wants to enact the deregulation efforts it originally proposed in 2017, it will have to go to the Supreme Court as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has denied a full court rehearing of the three-judge panel decision that went against the FCC in September.

The Third Circuit did not go into detail about why it denied the commission’s appeal, simply writing in its one paragraph explanation that the majority of judges did not vote to rehear the case.

The deregulation efforts that were at the center of the hearing dealt with newspaper-broadcast and the radio-TV cross ownership rules; dual station ownership in markets with fewer than eight independent voices; the elimination of attribution of joint sales agreements as ownership; the creation of a diversity incubator program and other diversity mechanisms. Prometheus et al. was the group that challenged the FCC in court.

In its original decision, the Third Circuit vacated most of the order, but also sent back a few elements to the FCC to be reworked.

If the FCC wishes to pursue their case further, the next step would be filing an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.