On January 27, 2010, Cablevision Systems Corporation filed a petition for a writ of certiorari asking the U.S. Supreme Court to consider whether carriage of broadcast station WRNN violates the must-carry statute and the First and Fifth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. The petition seeks a reexamination of the Supreme Court's Turner decisions that upheld must-carry against a First Amendment challenge. Cablevision argues that the emergence of competitionundermines the rationale for must-carry.
In the order under review, the FCC modified WRNN's local television market pursuant to the must-carry statute in 2007 to require Cablevision to carry WRNN on its cable systems in certain communities on Long Island, New York. The FCC's ruling restored communities that the FCC previously deleted from WRNN's market in a 1996 proceeding. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled in June 2009 that carriage of WRNN was consistent with the must-carry statute and the Constitution.
Briefs in opposition to the Petition by the FCC and WRNN are due February 26. Amicus briefs supporting petitioner or respondents are due the same day.
The Supreme Court is expected to rule this Spring on whether to consider the case.