Reservation of noncomm DBS channels upheld, 1996

This 1996 Circuit Court opinion upholds a provision of the 1992 Cable Act that mandates noncommercial educational or informational programming on 4-7 percent of Direct Broadcast Satellite operators’ channel capacity (DBS provision). The law was not challenged by DBS operators but by Time Warner, which opposed many provisions of the Cable Act. The decision was a major victory for public TV, which had tried for years to obtain reserved channels in the new media that would be comparable to the FM and TV channel reservations of earlier decades. (Current coverage: appeal verdict, FCC rules.)

United States Court of Appeals
FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA CIRCUIT
Argued November 20, 1995; Decided August 30, 1996

No. 93-5349
TIME WARNER ENTERTAINMENT CO., L.P., APPELLANT/PETITIONER
v.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION AND THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, APPELLEES/RESPONDENTS

ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA’S PUBLIC TELEVISION STATIONS, ET AL., INTERVENORS

Consolidated with Nos.