Tennis Channel Asks FCC To Revisit Challenge Against Comcast

By | Tuesday March 11, 2014 @ 12:55pm PDT

Tennis-Channel__120824220946-200x276UPDATE, 2:40 PM: Comcast’s Sena Fitzmaurice just responded to the Tennis Channel’s petition, urging the FCC to reject it as “baseless litigation” that “simply reiterates arguments that the court of appeals and the Supreme Court have already rejected.” In 2005 the companies “negotiated and signed an arm’s length contract” that Comcast has fulfilled “in exactly the way the contract requires.” The DC Court of Appeals agreed that Tennis Channel’s plea to be carried as a basic service would have “immense costs and no benefits for Comcast and that, therefore, Comcast’s carriage decision was appropriate and non-discriminatory. When given the opportunity to pursue the case at the Supreme Court, the government’s own lawyers chose not to do so.”

PREVIOUS, 12:55 PM: Tennis Channel has lost a game and a set in its discrimination cases against Comcast, but it still believes that it can win the match if the FCC agrees with a new petition asking it to review the matter again. The filing follows a U.S. Supreme Court decision last month not to review an appeals court decision that vacated a 2012 FCC order. The regulators agreed that Comcast had discriminated against Tennis Channel by putting it on an extra-fee sports tier while putting similar channels that it owns — Golf Channel and NBC Sports Network — on the expanded basic tier. The appeals court concluded that the FCC offered no evidence to refute Comcast’s position that it made a simple financial judgment that few subscribers wanted to watch tennis. Tennis Channel says that the FCC now can return to the case because “there is considerable evidence in the record that satisfies the new tests” the appeals court used to vacate the FCC’s order. If regulators look again, they “will once again conclude that Tennis Channel is correct in its view that Comcast has illegally discriminated against it.” Read More »

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Supreme Court Won’t Review Tennis Channel Appeal Of Pro-Comcast Ruling

By | Monday February 24, 2014 @ 8:54am PST

Tennis-Channel__120824220946-200x276The Tennis Channel says that while it’s “disappointed” by today’s decision, it still has “a number of available options” to revive its case alleging that Comcast treated it unfairly by putting it on an extra-fee sports tier. The … Read More »

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Tennis Channel Asks U.S. Supreme Court To Uphold FCC’s Program Carriage Ruling

By | Wednesday December 4, 2013 @ 7:35am PST

The independent pay TV service wants the justices to reverse decisions by the U.S. Court of Appeals in DC that overturned an FCC ruling last year. Tennis-Channel__120824220946-200x276Regulators said that Comcast had to take Tennis Channel off of an extra-fee sports tier so … Read More »

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Tennis Channel Denied Court Rehearing Of Comcast Discrimination Ruling

By | Thursday September 5, 2013 @ 12:45pm PDT

The Tennis Channel will not be getting its day in court again, but the ball is still in play. Without explanation, the federal Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit Wednesday denied the channel’s dual request for an en banc rehearing or a panel rehearing of a May 28 ruling on anti-competitive tactics by Comcast (read it here). Needless to say, the Tennis Channel isn’t happy. “The U.S. Circuit Court decision today effectively strips the FCC of the ability to perform the role Congress requires,” said the channel in a statement. “We are disappointed with this result and intend to pursue further review.” In the decision this spring, the court overturned the Federal Communications Commission’s July 2012 ruling that Comcast discriminated against the Tennis Channel in favor of the cable giant’s Golf Channel and NBC Sports Network.  Currently on a tier with around 3 million subscribers, the specialty channel has been trying since 2010 to be placed on Comcast’s basic service and reach over 21 million subscribers. Read More »

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Time Warner Cable Offers Free Tennis Channel Preview In CBS Blackout Areas

By | Wednesday August 21, 2013 @ 2:38pm PDT

For now, at least, the ball’s in Time Warner Cable‘s court. As the company’s carriage stalemate with CBS drags on, TWC said today that will offer its digital subscribers in the CBS blackout area a … Read More »

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Court Overturns FCC Order For Comcast To Take Tennis Channel Off Sports Tier

By | Tuesday May 28, 2013 @ 9:16am PDT

The U.S. Court of Appeals in DC just shot down the FCC’s ruling last year that would have required Comcast to take Tennis Channel off of an extra-fee sports tier so it could compete more equally with the cable giant’s Golf Channel and NBC Sports Network. The FCC said last year that Comcast had used its market power to discriminate against Tennis Channel. But the Appeals Court says that the FCC offered no evidence to refute Comcast’s position that it made a simple financial judgment that few subscribers wanted to watch tennis. When Comcast put the channel on a sports tier “not one customer complained about the change,” the court notes. Indeed the justices say that the FCC had no evidence to demonstrate that broader distribution of Tennis Channel “offered Comcast any commercial benefit.” Comcast says that Tennis Channel agreed to be on a sports tier when it negotiated its carriage agreement in 2005. “Tennis Channel received exactly the carriage it bargained for and agreed to,” says Comcast VP Government Communications Sena Fitzmaurice. Read More »

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Comcast Wins Delay Of FCC Order To Carry Tennis Channel

By | Friday August 24, 2012 @ 3:16pm PDT

Comcast vs Tennis ChannelComcast vs Tennis ChannelComcast has won a reprieve of the FCC’s order for the cable operator to make the Tennis Read More »

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Comcast Asks FCC To Stay Its Decision In Tennis Channel Ruling: LAT

By | Monday July 30, 2012 @ 9:15pm PDT

Comcast filed its petition today, the first step in what is expected to be a lengthy appeals process in a discrimination case, the Los Angeles Times reports. It comes nearly a week after the Federal Read More »

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FCC Sides With Tennis Channel In Discrimination Case Vs Comcast

By | Tuesday July 24, 2012 @ 3:31pm PDT

Regulators were split in the potentially important ruling, but still found that Comcast hurt Tennis Channel’s ability to compete by favoring two similar services that the cable company owns: Golf Channel and Versus (now known as the NBC Sports … Read More »

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FCC Bureau Says Comcast Should Expand Tennis Channel Carriage “Immediately”

By | Thursday January 26, 2012 @ 1:23pm PST

The recommendation from the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau to the commission itself was part of the intense legal volleying this week in the Tennis Channel’s discrimination case against Comcast. Commission staffers said that they were simply going along with an Administrative Law … Read More »

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FCC Law Judge Says Comcast Abused Its Power By Charging For Tennis Channel

By | Tuesday December 20, 2011 @ 2:15pm PST

FCC Administrative Law Judge Richard Sippel stood up for the little guy in an initial ruling on Tennis Channel’s discrimination complaint against Comcast. The judge ordered Comcast to pay a $375,000 fine and boost Tennis’ distribution after concluding that the … Read More »

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