With August 2 effective date looming, NAB looks to court for relief.

Things continue to percolate on the TV public file front. Remember last week, when we predicted that the NAB would eventually be asking the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to stay the FCC’s seemingly irresistible juggernaut toward implementing the new public file rule as of August 2? Boo-yah!! That’s just what the NAB has done.

The FCC has not yet acted on the NAB’s stay request that the NAB filed with the FCC last week. But time’s a-wastin’, and last week’s filing with the Commission wasn’t going anywhere anyway. In fact, it was likely filed primarily so that the NAB could tell the court that the agency had been given its own opportunity to stay the case. That’s because the courts tend to be reluctant to weigh in on such things if the agency in question hasn’t been given first shot at addressing the issues.

Last week’s stay request, addressed to the Commission, served precisely that purpose. Having waited a decent interval and received no response from the FCC, the NAB was in a position to represent to the court (as it does on Page One of its stay motion) that the Commission had its chance.

Next up – the FCC’s opposition. As required by the court’s rules, before filing its stay request with the court, the NAB advised the FCC that that request was about to be filed and asked whether the FCC planned to oppose it. Answer (and here’s a surprise): The FCC will be filing an opposition.

Stays are notoriously difficult to obtain, either from the FCC or from the courts. A party seeking a stay must normally demonstrate, among other things, that it will suffer irreparable harm if the stay is not granted. That’s a rough showing to make. We suspect that that issue will be a focal point of back-and-forth arguments in the coming weeks.

Check back here for updates.