Washington

Comcast Appeals Tennis Channel Decision in D.C. Circuit

At presstime, FCC had yet to rule on company request to delay enforcement of program carriage remedies 8/01/2012 04:09:13 PM Eastern

Comcast Wednesday filed its appeal of the FCC's Tennis
Channel program carriage decision, according to a spokesperson for the company.
That is no surprise since the company said almost from the moment the
commissioners voted last week to uphold the complaint that it would see the FCC
in court.

Comcast last week asked the FCC to stay its enforcement of
the decision pending the resolution of the court challenge to come. That is
unlikely, however.

Comcast argues that the FCC decision was unconstitutional
and that the complaint was filed after the statute of limitations on
complaining had run out.

"Comcast seeks review of the Order on the grounds that it is arbitrary, capricious, and an abuse of discretion within the meaning of the Administrative Procedure Act; is contrary to constitutional rights under the First and Fifth Amendments; violates the Communications Act, and FCC regulations promulgated thereunder; and is otherwise contrary to the law," Comcast said in its appeal.

 

"Accordingly," it concluded, "Comcast respectfully requests that this Court hold unlawful, vacate, enjoin, and set aside the Order, and that it provide such additional relief as may be appropriate."

The FCC commissioners voted on a 3-2 party line split that
an administrative law judge was right in concluding that Comcast had
discriminated against Tennis Channel by placing it on a sports tier while
giving its own sports networks Golf and NBC Sports Net wider coverage.

The FCC gave Comcast 45 days from that July 24 decision to
provide Tennis Channel with similar coverage to its owned nets, including
paying it higher sub fees.

Comcast maintains that putting Tennis on a sports tier was a
business decision, and similar to ones made by other distributors in the
marketplace.

 

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