When the FCC last month upheld Tennis Channel's
program-carriage victory against Comcast, it all but assured the single-sport
network would get the increased distribution (and rights fees) it felt it
Ken Solomon, Tennis Channel chairman and CEO, says now his
network can do "things that we would have been doing" had the network not been "artificially
discriminated" against by Comcast. "We'll be doing a lot more of what people
That means upping the amount of live coverage. "With the
resources to compete fairly in a level playing field, we can take that 430,000
hours of live and near-live coverage and double it almost overnight, without
spending a dollar on additional rights," says Solomon.
The network is beginning its U.S. Open Series coverage this
month on Mondays, ahead of its previous Thursday or Friday start. "We just didn't
have the money to have the trucks there Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday," Solomon
says, adding that Tennis Channel often pulls in some of its best ratings
earlier in tournaments.
Comcast has until Sept. 7 to give Tennis Channel similar
tier placement to its co-owned networks Golf Channel and NBC Sports Network.
Comcast on Aug. 8 filed a petition in federal court for a stay of the FCC