Chinese Voice of Golden City v. Fed. Commc'ns Comm'n, 20-1514

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (District of Columbia)
Writing for the CourtPER CURIAM.
PartiesChinese Voice of Golden City, Appellant v. Federal Communications Commission, Appellee Silver State Broadcasting, LLC, Intervenor
Decision Date30 November 2021
Docket Number20-1514

Chinese Voice of Golden City, Appellant

Federal Communications Commission, Appellee

Silver State Broadcasting, LLC, Intervenor

No. 20-1514

United States Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit

November 30, 2021

Appeal of an Order of the Federal Communications Commission

Before: Tatel, Pillard and Wilkins, Circuit Judges.



This appeal from an order of the Federal Communications Commission was considered on the basis of the appendix submitted by the parties and the presentations in the briefs. See Fed. R. App. P. 34(a)(2); D.C. Cir. R. 34(j). The court has afforded the issues full consideration and has determined that they do not warrant a published opinion. See D.C. Cir. R. 36(d). For the reasons stated below, it is

ORDERED AND ADJUDGED that the petition for review be DENIED.

Appellant Chinese Voice of Golden City moved its radio broadcast tower to a site two miles away from where it was licensed to operate. The FCC held that Chinese Voice's failure to broadcast from its licensed site for twelve consecutive months terminated the license as a matter of law. Chinese Voice challenges the Commission's order as arbitrary and capricious. Because the decision is reasonable and reasonably explained, we deny the petition.

If a broadcast station "fails to transmit broadcast signals for any consecutive 12-month period," its license automatically expires at the end of the twelve months. 47 U.S.C. § 312(g). In


Eagle Broadcasting Group v. FCC, 563 F.3d 543 (D.C. Cir. 2009), we affirmed the FCC's longstanding rule that transmissions from an unauthorized location do not constitute "broadcast signals" for purposes of § 312(g)-indeed, although deference to the Commission sufficed to reject Eagle's challenge, we suggested the statute required the FCC's approach. Id. at 553 ("[I]t strains credulity to suggest that the reference to 'broadcast signals' in § 312(g) includes unauthorized and unlicensed transmissions.") (emphasis in original). We recently reaffirmed that analysis by judgment. See Kingdom of God, Inc. v. FCC, 719 Fed.Appx. 19, 20 (D.C. Cir. 2018) (Mem.).

A straightforward application of Eagle Broadcasting resolves this appeal. Chinese Voice by its own admission broadcast from an unauthorized location more than two miles from its licensed site for about fifteen months, from January 2018 to May 2019. See J.A. 11, ¶¶ 8-10 (statement of Chinese Voice's President). Its transmissions during that time thus did not count as "broadcast signals" for purposes of § 312(g). Eagle Broadcasting, 563 F.3d at 552-53. Because Chinese Voice failed to transmit broadcast signals for a consecutive twelve-month period, it forfeited its license.

Chinese Voice offers no ground for distinguishing Eagle Broadcasting. Its principal argument is that Eagle Broadcasting was wrongly decided and we should reverse it. See Pet'r Br. at 26-32; Reply Br. at 1-17. But that decision binds us, see LaShawn A. v. Barry, 87 F.3d 1389, 1395 (D.C. Cir. 1996) (en banc), has been applied in other, similar circumstances, see Kingdom of God, 719...

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