A federal appeals court this week rejected a lawsuit challenging restored FCC rules regarding ultra-high frequency TV stations.
The District of Columbia court reportedly dismissed the challenge on technical grounds, which leaves the policy known as the UHF discount in place.
The FCC, during the Obama administration, implemented new standards that required broadcasters to count UHF stations toward their audience share, but the commission reversed that move under the Trump administration and restored the UHF discount, which only counts 50 percent of those holdings.
Because that decision allowed larger broadcast groups to stay under the nation’s 39 percent cap on audience share, critics argued it would lead to more industry mergers — particularly Sinclair Broadcast Group’s controversial $3.9 billion bid for Tribune Media.
The three-judge appeals court panel, however, said the groups bringing the case failed to demonstrate their standing to do so, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Although the decision would help Sinclair’s expansion efforts, the Tribune acquisition remains in doubt after the FCC questioned divestitures made as part of the deal and ordered an administrative law review of the merger.
Filed Under: Industry regulations