The Commission’s initial, bare-bones TV channel-sharing rules, adopted late last month, are set to take effect on June 22, according to a notice published in the Federal Register. As we reported a couple of weeks ago, those rules don’t seem to change much — indeed, Media Bureau Chief Bill Lake managed to cram a presentation on the new rules into a PowerPoint consisting of three pages (not including a title page and a second page consisting exclusively of a photo and the title "What Is Channel Sharing?") — but they do get the ball rolling for the anticipated incentive auctions and TV channel re-packing process that appear to be high on the FCC’s to-do list.
Note that the Federal Register publication not only establishes the effective date of the new rules, but it also sets the deadlines for seeking reconsideration or judicial review of the Commission’s channel-sharing Report and Order (R&O). Anyone who finds fault with the R&O but is inclined to give the FCC a chance to fix the problem(s) itself can file a petition for reconsideration by June 22. Fault-finders inclined to ask a court of appeals to review the R&O have until July 23.
If you’re in the latter category, don’t forget that about the judicial lottery factor. That is, if you’re hoping to have a particular circuit review the R&O, Section 1.13 of the rules requires that a petitioner file with the FCC’s General Counsel within 10 days of the Federal Register publication a copy of its petition for review with the court of appeals of its choosing; that copy must bear a date/time stamp from that court proving that it was in fact filed. If more than one petitioner specifying more than one circuit jumps through all those hoops, the Commission will ship all the candidates over to the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, which will pick a lucky circuit at random.