Broadcasters Lose Attempt to Stay Political File Disclosure Rules

TV station political ad rates must go online beginning Aug. 2

Broadcasters are running out of options in their attempts to stop the Federal Communications Commission from implementing the rule requiring TV stations to put their political files online. On Friday, the U.S. Court of Apeals for the District of Columbia rejected a request by the National Association of Broadcasters to stay the rules, which will now go into effect Aug. 2, just in time for the ramp up of political ads for the 2012 election.

The rules, passed in May by the Democratic-controlled FCC in a party-line vote, require the top 4 network affiliate TV stations in the top 5 markets to post online political files that were formerly kept in paper files at the station.

The NAB argued that because the political files disclose ad rates, TV stations "will suffer irreparable harm" and "place NAB's members at a distinct disadvantage to their non-broadcast competitors, who will not be required to post rate information on the Internet."

In the brief, one paragraph order, the Court said that the NAB had not "satisfied the stringent requirements for a stay pending court review." The ruling did not address the merits of the case, which will proceed.

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