The Independent Television Group says the commission’s retention of the ban “was arbitrary and capricious and contrary to the evidence in the record before the agency.”
An association of small station groups today petitioned the United States Court of Appeals to review the FCC’s decision retaining a ban on combinations among the top-four rated television stations in a market.
The action “was arbitrary and capricious and contrary to the evidence in the record before the agency,” the Independent Television Group says in the petition.
“The top-four prohibition is particularly harmful to television stations in small and medium markets where there may be only four or fewer commercial television stations, and where the need for the efficiencies from sharing stations costs is greater than in larger markets with more substantial market revenues,” the ITG says.
Although the FCC retained the ban, it said it would consider allowing top-four duopolies on a case-by-case basis.
ITG anticipates that the D.C. Circuit will transfer the appeal to the Third Circuit where other petitions for review of the FCC decisions on local ownership rules are pending.