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Comcast Files Tennis Brief - Broadcasting & Cable

Comcast Files Tennis Brief

Says FCC misapplied the law and ignored evidence
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Comcast Thursday filed its initial brief in
its court challenge of the FCC's Tennis Channel program carriage complaint
decision, arguing the FCC was off base and out of bounds and its order should
be vacated.

The
FCC earlier this year found for Tennis Channel and mandated that Comcast carry
it on a more widely viewed tier, though the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C.
Circuit subsequently stayed enforcement pending its decision on Comcast's
challenge.

In
the brief, Comcast said the FCC had "Fundamentally misapplied its program
carriage rules, ignoring fundamental legal principles, disregarding evidence
and "requires Comcast to carry Tennis Channel more broadly than even the
network's partial owners, DirecTV and Dish Network, carried it-a patently
absurd result."

Comcast
says the FCC "finds an unreasonable restraint because Tennis Channel
presumably could secure more viewers and advertising revenue via broader
carriage. But that will be true in every discrimination case under Section 616,
and thus cannot constitute an unreasonable restraint without rendering that
requirement a nullity," Comcast said.

The
cable operator also argues the complaint should be moot because it was filed
too late.

Comcast
asks the court to hear its appeal and, ultimately, vacate the FCC order.

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