Last month, the FCC approved a new rule that requires broadcasters who air political ads to post on their websites the rates they charge — and other related information — for these commercials. This isn’t sitting well with the broadcasters, who filed suit to stop the rule change.
Currently, if consumers want to see this information — which includes the ad rates and the number of times each ad is aired — they have to visit the actual station and look at it in person.
To the FCC, it’s a “common-sense update… to move from paper to online access to public information in the digital age… The rules are consistent with Congress’s directive to ensure public availability while providing cost savings for broadcasters.”
But the broadcasters don’t see it that way.
The suit, filed by the National Association of Broadcasters with the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., alleges that the rules would give competing stations the ability to easily find out each other’s ad rates for political TV spots. Additionally, the NAB says it’s unfair that the rule does not apply to cable channels.