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Parties Push GSN/Cablevision Carriage Complaint Hearing to July - Broadcasting & Cable

Parties Push GSN/Cablevision Carriage Complaint Hearing to July

Hope Comcast/Tennis channel decision will be issued before then to provide some guidance
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A Federal Communications Commission hearing in
the years-long carriage dispute between Cablevision Systems and GSN has been
pushed back until mid-July, after the FCC administrative law judge and parties
involved agreed to the delay in hopes of getting some guidance from the U.S.
Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in the Tennis Channel/Comcast suit.

According
to the judge's order, after a conference call March 21, all the parties decided
it would be worthwhile to postpone the hearing from April 2 to July 16 "so
the participants may consider further discovery and possible benefit from the
guidance of the court should it release its decision on Comcast Cable v. FCC. "

Officials
at Cablevision and GSN declined to comment on the delay, which was first
reported by Cable Fax Daily.

GSN
filed its carriage complaint back in October 2011, saying Cablevision had used
its market power to favor its own affiliated network at GSN's expense in
violation of FCC rules.

The
FCC's Media Bureau in May 2012 designated the Game Show Network's program
carriage complaint for hearing before an administrative law judge if the two
sides didn't resolve it via third-party mediation
.

Cablevision
in particular may want to wait for the Tennis Channel decision if oral argument
was any indication.

On
Feb. 25, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia heard Comcast's
challenge to the FCC's first-ever finding in favor of a program carriage
complaint and its imposition of a carriage remedy. While the judges usually
wield a gavel, in that case is was more like a hammer, with the FCC mostly on
the receiving end.

Between
the serious First Amendment issues with the FCC's carriage remedy expressed by
Judge Brett Kavanaugh and the contract issues on which Judge Harry Edwards
focused, the FCC appeared to have an uphill fight to keep its decision from
being remanded back. Following the hearing, sources on both sides of the case
expressed that sentiment.

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