Ninth Circuit Denies WealthTV Challenge
Says FCC relied on substantial evidence that cable carriage call was not discriminatory
By John Eggerton -- Broadcasting & Cable, 3/14/2013 3:21:22 PMco-owned channel, MOJO.
The court agreed with the FCC that they had denied carriage for legitimate, nondiscriminatory business reasons and that WealthTV could not prove the two channels were similarly situated, which was a requirement for a showing of discrimination. It said it found Wealth TV's arguments "unpersuasive."
The court said the FCC's finding that the two channels were not similarly situated was supported by "substantial evidence."
Comcast had outlined its business reasons as "cost of carriage, the uncertain consumer appeal of WealthTV's programming, bandwidth constraints, the fact that WealthTV had attracted relatively few carriage agreements, the lack of experience of its owners in the programming business, and absence of outside investment support."
"We are pleased that this drawn-out litigation is finally over, and are gratified that the court has confirmed what both the FCC and an Administrative Law Judge had already concluded -- that WealthTV's allegations of program carriage discrimination were entirely baseless," said Comcast in a statement.
In June 2011, the FCC denied the program carriage complaint of WealthTV, the last of a group of such complaints that went before an FCC Administrative Law Judge and the only one that was not settled before the commission had to make that call. The vote was unanimous.
I watch WealthTV 2-4 times per month based solely on it's boxing programming. It carries decent fights that others do not broadcast. I pay a whopping $.99 per month and am happy with it. I pay Comcast $100+ per month and they've neither updated my equipment nor added any significant programming in years.
Brian Filippi - 3/14/2013 4:30:37 PM EDT
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