ABC buckles after agency reverses ruling

WASHINGTON — ABC has withdrawn from the multinetwork court challenge of FCC indecency rulings. Move comes after the agency’s recent reversal of a finding against an episode of “NYPD Blue.”

Alphabet had joined CBS, Fox and NBC in a legal challenge of four indecency rulings issued in March — against CBS for a broadcast of “The Early Show” and Fox for two live broadcasts of the Billboard Music Awards, as well as “NYPD Blue.” While the Peacock had no ruling to appeal, it nonetheless joined case under amicus status.

But on Nov. 6, the Federal Communications Commission announced that after reviewing the four rulings, it would reverse indecency findings against CBS and ABC, citing legal and procedural reasons.

CBS is still planning on filing a brief — due tomorrow at the Second Circuit Court of Appeals — despite the reversal.

But ABC “will not file a brief” and will “not seek to participate in oral argument,” Seth P. Waxman, counsel for ABC, wrote in a letter to the clerk of the Second Circuit on Tuesday.

However, since the Parents Television Council has asked the FCC to reverse its reversals, the Alphabet asked the court that its “petition for review be held in abeyance” until the FCC has decided on PTC’s appeal.

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