Comcast Appeals Tennis Channel Decision In D.C. Circuit


Comcast Wednesday filed its appeal of the Federal Communications Commission's Tennis Channel program carriage decision, according to  spokesperson for the company.
That move comes as no surprise since the cable company said almost from the moment the commissioners voted last week to uphold the complaint that it would see the FCC in court.

Comcast last week asked the FCC to stay its enforcement of the decision pending the resolution of the court challenge to come. That is unlikely, however.

Comcast argues that the FCC decision was unconstitutional and that the complaint was filed after the statute of limitations on complaining had run out.

The FCC commissioners voted on a 3-2 party line split that an administrative law judge was right in concluding that Comcast had discriminated against Tennis Channel by placing it on a sports tier while giving its own sports nets Golf and NBC Sports Net wider coverage.

The FCC gave Comcast 45 days from that July 24 decision to provide Tennis Channel with similar coverage to its owned nets, including paying it higher sub fees.

Comcast maintains that putting Tennis on a sports tier was a business decision, and similar to ones made by other distributors in the marketplace.

"Comcast seeks review of the Order on the grounds that it is arbitrary, capricious, and an abuse of discretion within the meaning of the Administrative Procedure Act; is contrary to constitutional rights under the First and Fifth Amendments; violates the Communications Act, and FCC regulations promulgated thereunder; and is otherwise contrary to the law," Comcast said in its appeal.
Accordingly," it concluded, "Comcast respectfully requests that this Court hold unlawful, vacate, enjoin, and set aside the Order, and that it provide such additional relief as may be appropriate."