FCC ordered to declare Access Rule intentions

WASHINGTON — A federal court has ordered the FCC to respond by March 23 on whether it intends to act on a longstanding petition calling for repeal of the primetime access rule.

The order from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit raises the likelihood that the Federal Communications Commission will be forced to consider altering PTAR before year-end.

PTAR, a sister regulation of the finsyn rules, requires network affiliates in the top 50 markets to set aside an hour of primetime for non-network programs.

The D.C. Court’s order was prompted by the FCC’s lack of action on a complaint filed in April 1990 by First Media L.P., the owner of CBS affiliate WCPX-TV, Orlando. First Media asked the FCC to jettison PTAR, claiming the rule violates its First Amendment right to program whatever it wants in access.

Battle anticipated

D.C. observers expect a massive lobbying battle to erupt if the FCC proposes changes in PTAR. The Big Three networks support modification of the reg, while independents (including Fox Broadcasting) support full retention.

Hollywood studios with successful firstrun syndication offerings favor keeping PTAR in entirety; the Walt Disney Co. has asked the FCC to change the reg to allow network affils in the top 50 markets to air web reruns in access.

More TV

  • No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No

    'Veronica Mars' Revival Series in the Works at Hulu

    WASHINGTON — A federal court has ordered the FCC to respond by March 23 on whether it intends to act on a longstanding petition calling for repeal of the primetime access rule. The order from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit raises the likelihood that the Federal Communications Commission will be forced […]

  • Carson Kressley arriving at the Television

    'Queer Eye' Alum Carson Kressley Takes Dig at Netflix Reboot

    WASHINGTON — A federal court has ordered the FCC to respond by March 23 on whether it intends to act on a longstanding petition calling for repeal of the primetime access rule. The order from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit raises the likelihood that the Federal Communications Commission will be forced […]

  • BEAT SHAZAM: Host Jamie Foxx (C)

    Fox Renews Jamie Foxx Game Show 'Beat Shazam' for Season Three

    WASHINGTON — A federal court has ordered the FCC to respond by March 23 on whether it intends to act on a longstanding petition calling for repeal of the primetime access rule. The order from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit raises the likelihood that the Federal Communications Commission will be forced […]

  • Nicki Minaj MTV VMAs

    TV Ratings: VMAs Grow Streaming Viewership, Hold Close to Previous Linear Levels

    WASHINGTON — A federal court has ordered the FCC to respond by March 23 on whether it intends to act on a longstanding petition calling for repeal of the primetime access rule. The order from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit raises the likelihood that the Federal Communications Commission will be forced […]

  • Tiffany Haddish Girls Trip

    Tiffany Haddish Sets Netflix Stand-Up Special

    WASHINGTON — A federal court has ordered the FCC to respond by March 23 on whether it intends to act on a longstanding petition calling for repeal of the primetime access rule. The order from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit raises the likelihood that the Federal Communications Commission will be forced […]

  • Kathryn Hahn 'Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer

    HBO Orders Comedy 'Mrs. Fletcher' Starring Kathryn Hahn to Series

    WASHINGTON — A federal court has ordered the FCC to respond by March 23 on whether it intends to act on a longstanding petition calling for repeal of the primetime access rule. The order from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit raises the likelihood that the Federal Communications Commission will be forced […]

  • MAKING IT -- "You Crafty" Episode

    'Making It' Renewed for Season 2 at NBC

    WASHINGTON — A federal court has ordered the FCC to respond by March 23 on whether it intends to act on a longstanding petition calling for repeal of the primetime access rule. The order from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit raises the likelihood that the Federal Communications Commission will be forced […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content