Monday, May 17, 2010

Supreme Court Rejects Cablevision Petition Challenging Must-Carry Rule

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In Cablevision v. FCC (Case No. 09-901), the U.S. Supreme Court has denied Cablevision's petition for a writ of certiorari, letting stand the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal for the Second Circuit's upholding of the "must-carry" rule.

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals last June upheld the FCC decision in Cablevision v. FCC, which required Cablevision, the fifth-largest U.S. cable operator, to carry on its Long Island cable systems WRNN of Kingston, NY. Cablevision challenged the applicability of the "must-carry" rule, enacted in 1992, that mandates cable systems with at least 300 subscribers carry the signals of local commercial television stations that operate within the same television market as the cable system.  The Supreme Court twice in the 1990s upheld the constitutionality of the must-carry rule, saying it was narrowly tailored to uphold the critical government interests of  "preserving the benefits of free over-the-air local broadcast television" and "promoting the widespread dissemination of information from a multiplicity of sources."

Arguing successfully on behalf of the government that the Supreme Court should decline to hear the case was Solicitor General Elena Kagan.



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