[opendtv] Sinclair Challenges Incentive Auction in Court | Broadcasting & Cable

  • From: Craig Birkmaier <craig@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: OpenDTV Mail List <opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 18 Sep 2014 09:02:56 -0400


Sinclair Challenges Incentive Auction in Court

Sinclair Broadcasting has challenged the FCC's broadcast incentive auction 
order in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, essentially 
reading it the riot act.

Sinclair said that as a broadcaster it was “aggrieved and otherwise injured" by 
the decision.

Sinclair did not lay out an elaborate case for what it thought was wrong, or 
make any suggestions for how it could be fixed, as did the National Association 
of Broadcasters and noncommercial outlets in their respective petitions 
challenging portions of the order. Noncoms petitioned the FCC for the change, 
while NAB, like Sinclair, sought review by the D.C. court.

Sinclair took aim at it all.

Sinclair seeks review of the order on the grounds that it "was adopted in 
excess of the Commission's authority; violates the Middle Class Tax Relief and 
Job Creation Act of 2012....is arbitrary, capricious, and an abuse of 
discretion under the Administrative Procedure Act and violates Section 5(c) of 
the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. § 155(c); and is 
otherwise contrary to law."

It asked to “hold unlawful, vacate, enjoin, and set aside the Order and grant 
such additional relief as may be necessary and appropriate.”

Sinclair has been one of the strongest voices against auction participation and 
for pushing the FCC to give broadcasters the flexibility to be players in the 
broadband future without giving up their broadcast spectrum.

NAB has asked the FCC to rethink its interference calculation regime also 
arguing the auction is illegal as currently constituted, but suggested there is 
a way to fix it. Noncoms want assurances that a noncommercial channel 
assignment will be reserved in every market after the auction.

The Expanding Opportunities for Broadcasters Coalition has also sought 
clarification from the FCC, but at the invitation of the FCC.

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