Tennis Seeks Full Court Review of Carriage Complaint Decision

Says full court needs to weigh in on whether economic loss is required for finding
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As expected, the Tennis Channel has filed a petition for full court (en banc) review by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit of a three-judge panel decision May 28 that Comcast did not violate the FCC's program carriage rules.

That panel concluded that the FCC and Tennis had failed to make the discrimination case against the cable operator.

In its petition, filed Friday (July 15), Tennis Channel said that the ruling "departed from well-settled anti-discrimination law' and "ignored congressional intent and erroneously rejected extensive findings made by the FCC. Comcast's programming business benefits from weakening the independent Tennis Channel's ability to compete for programming and advertisers. This is exactly what Congress sought to prohibit when it adopted the Cable Act."

Tennis said the judges, "[b]y requiring evidence that the defendant suffered an economic loss," had "departed from [the] Court's prior anti-discrimination decisions, ignored congressional intent and erroneously rejected extensive findings made by the Federal Communications Commission."

Tennis wants the full court to rule on whether proof of economic loss due to discrimination is required.

"A unanimous panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals emphatically rejected Tennis Channel's complaint in a well-considered opinion," said Comcast in a statement. "We continue to treat Tennis Channel fairly, making it available to those customers who want it in full accordance with our contract."

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