The Supreme Court’s Increasingly Dim View Of News Media

A comprehensive look at references to the press in justices’ opinions revealed “a marked and previously undocumented uptick in negative depictions.”

Supreme Court Vacates Ruling Barring Trump From Blocking Twitter Critics

It said the case is moot. There were no noted dissents, but Justice Clarence Thomas wrote separately to say the court at some point will need to examine the power of tech media companies.

Supreme Court Hands Google A Landmark Win

Google can let out a huge sigh of relief now that the Supreme Court has saved the tech giant from billions of dollars in damages in a long-lasting lawsuit brought by Oracle over computer code used to build the Android operating system.  As for big movie studios, while a copyright dispute about computer code might not seem like a subject of particular consequence for them, an opinion from Justice Stephen Breyer concluding that Google made fair use of copyrighted material will very likely be discussed for quite some time and be invoked in other contexts. As such, a few lines in particular from today’s opinion could have many in Hollywood quite tense about a future staked on intellectual property.

NEWS ANALYSIS

High Court Decision Ends Crossownership Bans

The United States Supreme Court yesterday released its decision upholding the FCC’s 2017 changes to its ownership rules in the FCC v. Prometheus Radio Project case. The practical result of this decision is that the newspaper-broadcast crossownership prohibition will end. We certainly do not think that any future FCC would try to reinstate the crossownership ban given the current state of the newspaper industry. Also abolished in 2017 and now formally ended are the radio-television crossownership restrictions.

NEWS ANALYSIS

Supreme Court Broadcast Ownership Decision A Simple Matter

Few rules in the Code of Federal Regulations have as tortured a history as 47 CFR § 73.3555 — the broadcast multiple ownership rules. The subject of court decisions too numerous to count, a brief review of FCC decisions revising (or deciding not to revise) these rules reveals a twisted mass of logic and rationales where parties fiercely argue even as to the very reason for their existence. Today, the Supreme Court released a unanimous decision reversing the Third Circuit’s ruling involving three ownership rules, noting simply that the FCC’s approach had been reasonable, and the fact that it made its decision based on the record before it rather than the record the Third Circuit wished for, was just the way government must function.

SCOTUS Upholds FCC Media Deregulation

In a big victory for broadcasters, the Supreme Court has reversed the Third Circuit’s decision throwing out the FCC’s broadcast deregulation under former FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. Current acting chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel had voted against the deregulatory move.

NCAA, Under Fire Over Amateurism, Takes Its Fight To Supreme Court

The NCAA says certain benefits could lead to a bidding war for players’ services, upending the collegiate model. Reformists say that’s the point.

Supreme Court Hears Argument Over FCC Media Ownership Rules

On the final full day of the presidency of Donald J. Trump, his administration urged the Supreme Court to allow media ownership rules to change despite some who believe the move would hurt female and minority ownership of broadcast outlets. A high court with three Trump appointees could grant such wish, although the forthcoming decision figures to be prelude to more battles ahead.

C-SPAN Airing Supreme Court Vetting Of Media Ownership Dereg Arguments

C-SPAN will air/stream the Supreme Court oral argument today (Jan. 19) in FCC v. Prometheus. That is the FCC’s defense of its 2017 broadcast ownership deregulation decision. The argument is scheduled for 10 a.m.

NAB To Supreme Court: Dereg Is The Statutory Prime Directive In Ownership Rule Review

Broadcasters are telling the Supreme Court that a lower court’s rejection of the FCC’s broadcast dereg decision was a recipe for “judicial intervention run riot” and that diversity alone cannot be invoked to block deregulation of rules that marketplace changes have rendered unsupportable and no longer necessary in the public interest.

SCOTUS Sets TV Ownership Dereg Oral Argument

Turns out Jan. 19 will be an inauguration day of sorts — inaugurating the Supreme Court’s first consideration of an appeal of the FCC’s media ownership rule deregulation. It will be the fourth oral argument of the January session, with one hour of argument scheduled, though that could spill over depending on how the arguments and Justices’ questioning goes.

Gray Files Supreme Court Brief Supporting Modernized TV Station Ownership Rules

Gray’s brief argues that the FCC’s modernized rules should finally be allowed to take effect because the agency issued them in full compliance with its obligations under Section 202(h) of the Telecommunications Act of 1996.

FCC To SCOTUS: Restore Broadcast Dereg

The FCC has weighed in with the Supreme Court in defense of its order deregulating local broadcast ownership and in opposition to a lower court’s invalidation of that order. The crux of the FCC’s argument is that the lower court repeatedly prevented the commission from repealing or modifying rules it had concluded were no longer in the public interest.

NFL Sunday Ticket TV Case Denied Supreme Court Review

The U.S. Supreme Court won’t review an antitrust case that could have outsized influence on the future of the television industry. On Monday, the high court announced it wouldn’t be hearing National Football League v. Ninth Inning, a lawsuit against the professional football league that challenges how teams currently pool telecast rights and collectively negotiate a licensing package for out-of-market games. The antitrust dispute could shake up live sports broadcasting.

Barrett Confirmed For High Court, Takes Oath

Amy Coney Barrett, Trump’s choice to fill the vacancy of the late liberal icon Ruth Bader Ginsburg, potentially opens a new era of rulings on abortion, the Affordable Care Act and even his own election. Democrats were unable to stop the outcome, Trump’s third justice on the court, as Republicans race to reshape the judiciary.

Trump Nominee Has Open Mind On Cameras

President Donald Trump’s U.S. Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett said on Wednesday she was open to at least one sweeping change for the nation’s top judicial body — allowing cameras into the chamber for the first time in its 230-year history.

THE PRICE POINT

The Price Point | The Supreme Court Offers Station Groups Hope. The FCC Could Give More

Broadcasters would welcome reformation of the outdated newspaper-TV crossownership rule, but the Supreme Court’s decision to hear an appeal of the Third Circuit decision doesn’t solve all the industry’s COVID-induced woes. The FCC still needs to eliminate the Top 4 rule and online video distributors need to be classified as MVPDs.

STATION ADVISORY

Gaming Out SCOTUS Media Ownership Review

As we reported last week, the United States Supreme Court has agreed to hear appeals by the FCC and the NAB of a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit that overturned a 2017 decision by the FCC attempting to relax its media ownership rules. So, what does this actually mean for the FCC’s ownership rules and the broadcast industry? Not surprisingly based on the history of this proceeding, the answer is not entirely clear.

SCOTUS Will Reshape TV’s Megamerger Future

The country’s top court has taken up a major case about media ownership rules that will have a far-reaching impact on M&A and broadcast regulation.

Google, Oracle In Copyright Clash At High Court

The case before the justices Wednesday has to do with Google’s creation of the Android operating system now used on the vast majority of smartphones worldwide. Google says that to create Android, which was released in 2007, it wrote millions of lines of new computer code. But it also used 11,330 lines of code and an organization that’s part of Oracle’s Java platform.

D.C. Reacts To SCOTUS Slotting Broadcast Dereg

The Supreme Court’s decision to hear the FCC/broadcaster appeal of the Third Circuit’s most recent smackdown of the FCC’s broadcast dereg efforts drew a crowd Friday (Oct. 2). That may be because the FCC for almost two decades has been responding to remands from the Circuit as the commission under Republican chairmen tried to eliminate the newspaper-broadcast crossownership rule and other local station ownership restrictions but this is the first time the Supremes will get involved.

Supreme Court To Consider FCC Effort To Loosen Media Ownership Rules

The U.S. Supreme Court said on Friday it will take up a long-running legal dispute over whether the FCC can loosen U.S. media ownership rules. A lower court has thwarted the FCC’s efforts to revise the rules since 2003 in a series of decisions.

Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg Dies At 87

Ruth Bader Ginsburg was the second woman to serve on the Supreme Court and a pioneering advocate for women’s rights. Her death Friday from complications from metastatic pancreatic cancer, just over six weeks before Election Day, is likely to set off a heated battle over whether President Donald Trump should nominate, and the Republican-led Senate should confirm, her replacement, or if the seat should remain vacant until the outcome of his race against Democrat Joe Biden is known.

Comcast To SCOTUS: Overturn Viamedia Ruling

Comcast Corp. says the U.S. Supreme Court should step in and shut down a monopolization lawsuit over the TV ad placement market, arguing a federal appeals court improperly gave a green light to claims it illegally refused to do business with rival Viamedia Inc.

Trump Seeks SCOTUS OK To Block Twitter Critics

The administration said in a high-court filing Thursday that Trump’s @realdonaldtrump account with more than 85 million followers is his personal property and blocking people from it is akin to elected officials who refuse to allow their opponents’ yard signs on their front lawns.

Groups Ask SCOTUS To Continue Live Broadcasts

Fix the Court, the Radio Television Digital News Association and the Society of Professional Journalists have joined with more than two dozen groups to ask Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts to continue to provide live audio of its oral arguments.

COMMENTARY

The Supreme Court Enters The Radio Age

The grim coronavirus pandemic has brought one welcome change that the Supreme Court should make permanent: Oral arguments, conducted for the moment via teleconference, have been broadcast live, bringing Americans closer than ever to a key organ of their government.

Affils Join Call For SCOTUS To Consider Dereg

“The FCC’s anachronistic ownership rules place local broadcasters at a decided disadvantage against other competitors in the complex, fast-evolving, highly competitive video marketplace,” the Big 4 affiliate groups told the Supreme Court.

Gray To Supremes: FCC Got Dereg Right

Gray Television has filed an amicus brief at the Supreme Court backing the FCC’s appeal of a federal court’s smackdown of its broadcast deregulation decision. Gray told the court it was imperative that it hear the FCC appeal, reverse the Third Circuit, and allow the FCC’s “media modernization” to proceed.

Supreme Court Takes Modest But Historic Step

The Supreme Court’s first teleconference oral argument went off relatively smoothly Monday, and its orderly round of questioning was enough to entice Justice Clarence Thomas, who usually asks none. Forced from gathering in their grand Washington courtroom because of threats presented by the coronavirus, the justices spent a little more than an hour on a trademark dispute case. But because the arguments were widely broadcast by media outlets, it made history as the first time the public could listen in remotely as advocates made their cases.

JESSELL AT LARGE

Jessell | After Proxy Loss, Pondering Kim’s Next Move

Soo Kim took a shot across the bow at Tegna’s management in conceding his loss in a proxy fight last week. But beyond his Tegna stake, he’s backing other broadcast ventures in which a larger strategy is harder to see. Bonus news and commentary: The pandemic could hurt retrans revenue as well as ad revenue; group stock prices can’t get much worse; Nexstar offers a hard plan to soften AE woes; and TV and radio take another step toward full newsgathing equality.

Court TV To Air Live Audio Of Supreme Court Arguments

Court TV will air live audio of the cases being presented in front of the Supreme Court of the United States beginning May 4 at 10 a.m. ET. Americans will be able to listen to real-time arguments in the highest court in the country, with several cases involving President Donald Trump. To follow COVID-19 guidelines set […]

FCC Seeks SCOTUS Review Of Dereg Smackdown

The Solicitor General of the United States, on behalf of the FCC, has asked the Supreme Court to review a U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals decision overturning most of its media ownership deregulation decision, hammering the circuit for what the FCC suggested was serial obstruction of what it had concluded was in the public interest.

Supreme Court Postpones April Arguments

The Supreme Court on Friday said it would postpone oral arguments scheduled for its April session amid the coronavirus pandemic.

SCOTUS Tosses Appeals Decision In Allen Case

The justices agreed unanimously that an appeals court applied the wrong legal standard in allowing business owner Byron Allen’s $20 billion suit against Comcast to go forward. Allen has a separate $10 billion suit against Charter Communications that the justices’ decision also affects.

NFL Taking Case To Supreme Court

The National Football League is concerned that a revolution may be at hand with respect to the way that its games get televised to millions of fans. On Friday, pointing to how teams currently pool TV rights and then license packages to distributors, the league asked the Supreme Court to review an antitrust case with the potential of upsetting an arrangement that has served the league for more than a quarter century.

Supreme Court Turns Down Facebook Fight

The Supreme Court on Tuesday left in place a ruling that allows Illinois residents to proceed with a lawsuit accusing Facebook of violating a state biometric privacy law by compiling “faceprints.”

Supreme Court Could Become ‘Stream’ Court

At about the same time that Chief Justice John Roberts was being sworn in to preside over the Senate impeachment trial of Donald Trump, a pair of legislators, one a current and one a former House impeachment manager, were introducing a bill that would make the default setting that “real time or near-real time [access] on the internet,” either audio or video, of all appeals courts, including the highest court in the land, would be allowed.

NFL Rights Case Heads To Supreme Court

A significant antitrust battle could upset how the league sells game telecasts for billions of dollars and usher in an era when teams would compete for licensing deals.

Justices Hears Byron Allen v. Comcast Arguments

After hearing arguments Wednesday, Supreme Court justices seemed to agree that an appeals court applied the wrong legal standard in allowing Entertainment Studios owner Byron Allen’s $20 billion race bias suit against Comcast to go forward.