Court Seeks Comcast Input on Tennis Channel Petition

Gives MSO 15 Days to Respond to Network’s Bid for Full-Court Review
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WASHINGTON — The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has signaled it is at least contemplating holding a full-court hearing on the Tennis Channel case.

In May, a three-judge panel of the court unanimously ruled that Comcast did not violate the Federal Communications Commission's program carriage rules or discriminage against Tennis for anticompetitive reasons by keeping the network on a sports tier — per a longstanding contract — rather than the more widely viewed tier placement Tennis had sought.

In an order issued Tuesday (July 23) on its own motion, the court gave Comcast 15 days to respond to Tennis Channel's petition for a full-court review of that panel decision.

Tennis Channel may or may not get to respond to that filing. "Absent further order of the court, the court will not accept a reply to the response," the court said.

A veteran attorney following the case called it a "promising sign" for Tennis Channel, but still "a long shot."