The National Association of Broadcasters has sued the FCC to block new rules requiring broadcast TV stations to post their political advertising info online.
I wrote about the proposed rule early this month -- it was lauded by good government groups seeking to track the explosion of ads since the Citizens United decision, but criticized by TV execs who said their business was being unfairly singled out. ("The issue is really about political rates being exposed and losing the competitive advantage. No other media have to put their rate online by force from the government," said Ray Carter, vice president and general manager of WPXI-TV.)
That is indeed what the NAB says in their suit. From the (FCC-supporting) Sunlight Foundation:
The rule requiring stations to post files that the public now must visit stations to review on paper is "arbitrary and capricious," the NAB argued in its filing to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, because it targets broadcast television stations and not competitors -- which, in prior statements, the NAB has identified as cable networks. The NAB argues that it the new FCC rule would "adversely impact NAB and the broadcasters whose interested it represents."
The NAB's main objections to the FCC rule: It could hurt stations' negotiating stance with advertisers who would be able to see ad rates, and it would require additional manpower to post the logs.
Here's a link to the full NAB complaint.
The stations have been required since 1965 to make the information public, but it is only kept in paper files at station offices.