The US District Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit ruled for Comcast in its battle over an FCC program carriage order that was in Tennis Channel’s favor.
“Without showing any benefit for Comcast from incurring the additional fees for assigning Tennis a more advantageous tier, the Commission has not provided evidence that Comcast discriminated against Tennis on the basis of affiliation,” said the court opinion, written by sr circuit judge Stephen Williams.
In Jan 2010, Tennis filed a program carriage complaint at the FCC that claimed Comcast discriminated against it in favor of its own channels, Golf and Versus (now NBC Sports Net). Tennis was relegated to a sports tier in most systems, while Golf and Versus have much broader distribution. An administrative law judge sided with Tennis in Dec ’11 and the Commission, over the objections of Republicans, upheld the ALJ decision last July. The DC Circuit stayed the FCC’s order requiring Comcast to make Tennis available to virtually all its subs as it challenged the decision. NCTA backed the MSO in the case.
Story developing… More in CableFAX Daily tonight.