Fox urges Chi to hold fin-syn regs

Fox Broadcasting is urging a Chicago federal court not to retain any financial interest and syndication rules while the FCC grapples with trying to craft new fin-syn regulations that are acceptable to the court.

Fox, in a brief submitted yesterday to Chi’s U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, says, “Reinstating the former (fin-syn) rules while the commission considers what to do with its new ones … would effectively sentence Fox to death even though it has been found innocent of any crime.”

The Chicago court will receive comments from fin-syn parties today on how to proceed with the case.

Two weeks ago, the court tossed out new regs written by the FCC last year.

Hollywood’s fin-syn coalition will ask the court to retain the rules written last year until the FCC can submit new regs that meet the court’s approval.

Fox, however, said “leaving the new rules in place pending (a return to the FCC) would fly in the face of the court’s holding that they are ‘unreasoned and unreasonable.’ ”

Fox argues that even if there are no rules, “The behavior of Fox and the three established networks will be constrained by the possibility that revised rules will be imposed in the future. They will therefore enter into production and syndication activities at their peril.”

Fox opposes the new FCC rules, primarily because the firm is barred from keeping its lucrative syndication arm once it begins programming more than 15 hours a week in prime time.

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