You are hereThe Hill: Broadcasters sue over political ad rule
The Hill: Broadcasters sue over political ad rule
-By Brendan Sasso
May 22, 2012- The National Association of Broadcasters sued the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Monday to block the commission's order requiring TV stations to put political advertising data online.
In their filing with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, the broadcasters said that the FCC overstepped its authority and that the rule is "arbitrary and capricious." They also said the requirement infringes on their First Amendment free-speech rights.
An FCC spokesman said the agency would defend the regulation in court.
“The public file rules are a common-sense update by the FCC to move from paper to online access to public information in the digital age," the spokesman said. "The rules are consistent with Congress’s directive to ensure public availability while providing cost-savings for broadcasters.“
TV stations were already required to compile data on how much political campaigns paid for advertisements, but the rule will require the stations to load that information into an online database on the FCC's website.
Previously, anyone who wanted access to the information would have to go to the TV station in person.
For the first two years, the rule only applies to network-affiliated stations in the top 50 markets, but after that, all stations will have to comply with the requirements.