SBD/May 3, 2012/Media

FCC To Decide If Comcast Must Move Tennis Channel

FCC General Counsel Austin Schlick yesterday said that a full panel at the regulatory agency “would decide” whether Comcast discriminated against Tennis Channel by putting it on a sports tier, which put it “at a competitive disadvantage,” according to Meg James of the L.A. TIMES. The dispute began nearly three years ago when Comcast placed the Tennis Channel on its sports tier “as part of an agreement between the two companies when Comcast agreed to provide carriage.” However, Comcast “appeared to run afoul of the rules because it offers the sports channels that it owns, the Golf Channel and NBC Sports…in the basic programming package.” It is “unclear when the commission would make the final call.” Until that time, Comcast is “not required to move” the net to a "less exclusive environment (L.A. TIMES, 5/3). MULTICHANNEL NEWS' Todd Spangler notes Comcast “must reposition the Bloomberg Television business news channel into ‘news neighborhoods’ in 106 headends -- spanning the 35 largest U.S. markets -- within 60 days to comply with a condition of the FCC's approval of the NBCUniversal deal,” the commission ordered yesterday. Comcast “plans to appeal the order” to the full FCC, saying it "'misinterpreted’ the terms of the Comcast-NBCU order" (MULTICHANNEL NEWS, 5/3).
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