Eva Knott 9:34 a.m., May 18
FCC Asked To Water Down Requirement For Broadcasters To Post Ad Buys Online
In late April the Federal Communication Commission approved a rule requiring broadcasters to post public files, including political data, online.
During the hearing, the majority of commissioners agreed that displaying political ad buys at television stations and cable networks wasn't good enough. Journalists, campaign workers, and other members of the public were not only required to drive to the networks but also were forced to pay anywhere from $.25 to $3.00 per copy-- that was the price at Fox5 before it was lowered to $1.00.
End of story? Well, it can't be that easy. Television stations and some Republicans in Congress have fought the ruling, according to an article published by *ProPublica.*
Recently, Republicans on House Appropriations subcommittee refused to allocate funds that would go towards implementation of the rule.
Now, twelve of the largest broadcast companies in the country have filed a petition requesting that the FCC reconsider the ruling. They say that posting prices for political ad buys would jeopardize business by showing the cost of ads and the times that the ads would run.
"It is axiomatic that disclosure of price information is anti-competitive and disrupts markets -- in this case, not only the local political advertising marketplace but also the local commercial advertising marketplace more generally, because stations' political ad rates, by law, must be based on commercial advertising rates (and based on their most favorable rates during the political "windows")," read the petition filed on behalf of Cox Media Group, Gannett Broadcasting, Hearst Television, Barrington Broadcasting, Belo Corporation, Dispatch Broadcast Group, E.W. Scripps Company, LIN Television Corporation, Meredith Broadcasting Group, Post-Newsweek Stations, Schurz Communications, and Raycom Media.
According to ProPublica, the FCC may decide to reconsider before the ruling goes into effect sometime after this summer.