Today, the Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit issued an opinion on the legal challenge to the FCC’s decision to reinstate the UHF Discount. Common Cause was one of the petitioners to file the legal challenge. The DC Circuit dismissed the case finding that the petitioners did not demonstrate sufficient standing.
Statement of Michael Copps, Former FCC Commissioner and Common Cause Special Adviser:
“This decision is deeply disappointing. Rather than decide the merits, the court throws out a major case on a technicality over “standing” that the court itself more than hinted petitioners could easily overcome. On substance, the FCC presented a ludicrous case during oral arguments. There is no defense for maintaining the UHF discount – a technologically obsolete loophole that only allows broadcasters to buy stations beyond ownership limits. It’s more than regrettable that an awful FCC decision that paves the way for more media consolidation is allowed to stand. We all pay the price for that with yet another green light for the industry to consolidate into monopoly markets that leaves little room for independent and diverse voices. So many green lights, so little public interest.”