Comcast:See You in Court

Challenges FCC’s decision to uphold Tennis Channel carriage complaint

Comcast wasted no time challenging the Federal Communications Commission’s decision to uphold the Tennis Channel carriage complaint.

On July 30, Comcast asked the commission to stay enforcement of its July 24 vote pending the outcome of its promised court appeal, which it filed two days later. Without that stay, which the commission is unlikely to grant if past is prologue, Comcast will have to take steps to true up tier placement of Tennis Channel, Golf Channel and NBC Sports Net by early September (the FCC gave the MSO 45 days).

Comcast said in the stay filing that the FCC decision imposed an “unprecedented burden” on the company, allowing Tennis Channel to rewrite its contract with Comcast “under the guise of avoiding discrimination.”

Comcast asked the FCC to rule on its petition by Aug. 7 so that, if the FCC says no, it can seek a judicial stay. “We have to wait for the FCC not to act before filing a stay with the court,” Comcast said in a statement. (See You Said It!)

Broadcasters took the same “stay” route in trying to prevent the FCC from enforcing its Aug. 2 date for posting political and other public files online, but the FCC and the court both denied those appeals for emergency relief.