Court denies broadcasters' emergency bid to block political ad rule

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia concluded that the broadcasters failed to meet the stringent requirements necessary to suspend the regulation before it goes into effect. The broadcasters' lawsuit looking to permanently overturn the rule will be allowed to continue.

TV stations were already required to compile data on how much political campaigns paid for ads, but previously, anyone who wanted access to the information would have to go to the station in person. The rule, adopted by the FCC in April, will require the broadcasters to load the information into a database on the FCC's website.

The FCC says the rule is part of its effort to put more information online, and watchdog groups hope the rule will shed light on the big money behind political ad campaigns by making the data more accessible. The 2012 election is expected to see an influx of spending from outside groups such as super-PACs.

But NAB argues the rule will give an unfair advantage to its satellite and cable competitors. The group also argues that the rule will allow pay television providers to keep tabs on broadcast stations' advertising rates.

The group's lawsuit alleges that the FCC overstepped its authority and that the rule is "arbitrary and capricious." NAB claims the requirement infringes on their First Amendment free-speech rights.


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