With billions of political ad dollars on the line, broadcasters are working hard to make sure a new Federal Communications Commission ruling does not take even a little bite out of their share of that likely record political pie. Broadcasters want the FCC to loosen up when it comes to the reporting requirements for political ads — rules they say could lead to them having to turn down political ad dollars. The reporting obligation stems from the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, but the FCC has discretion in how it interprets the requirements in its rules implementing that law.
Chairman Ajit Pai and the rest of the Federal Communications Commission took hits from both sides of the aisle in a House Communications Subcommittee oversight hearing Dec 5. Democratic Reps were particularly pointed in their criticisms of the FCC over broadband mapping, internet deregulation, merger approvals, and the funding cap on the Universal Service Fund, among other issues.
Don’t be surprised if the Federal Communications Commission and National Association of Broadcasters ask the US Supreme Court to weigh in on broadcast ownership deregulation. That comes after the full 3rd US Circuit Court of Appeals refused to hear the FCC’s appeal, supported by NAB as an intervenor, of a lower court decision to throw out most of FCC Chairman Ajit Pai's deregulation order. That order included eliminating the newspaper-broadcast and radio-TV cross-ownership rules.