Tennis Channel Files Opposition to Comcast Stay Request

Says it is likely to win on merits, given that FCC has repeatedly upheld its program carriage complaint
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Tennis Channel late Thursday filed its opposition to Comcast's request for an FCC stay of enforcement of the commission's decision upholding the sports channel's program carriage complaint against the nation's top cable operator.

Tennis said in the filing that it, not Comcast, is likely to succeed on the merits. "Comcast's arguments simply express its core disagreement with the statute, and such arguments cannot serve as a basis for granting a stay in this proceeding." said the channel.

The channel points out that the FCC's Media Bureau found prima facie evidence of discrimination, that an administrative law judge agreed, as did the enforcement bureau, as did the full commission (on a 3-2 party line vote).

Tennis also said any alleged harms to Comcast from the FCC's remedies, which kick in in early September, are hardly irreparable injury, and at most are the costs of legal compliance.

By contrast, said Tennis Channel, it is harmed every day that Comcast continues to discriminate against it, including its ability to compete for viewers, to obtain carriage from others, to get programming and sell advertising.

It says that Comcast's request that the FCC stay enforcement while it appeals the decision--it filed that appeal in the D.C. Circuit this week--is "contrary to express congressional statements about the need for prompt relief" in program carriage decisions. "Given Comcast's adjudicated wrongdoing, which has stretched over several years, the public's interest should be satisfied now without further delay."

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