SBD/February 25, 2014/Media

Supreme Court Declines To Hear Tennis Channel's Appeal In Comcast Case

The U.S. Supreme Court yesterday "declined to take up the Tennis Channel's petition to overturn an appeals court ruling" that Comcast had operated within its rights in placing the net "in a sports package with limited distribution," according to Meg James of the L.A. TIMES. The denial "seems to slam the door on the Tennis Channel's marathon legal case against the nation's largest cable television operator." The U.S. Court of Appeals for DC in May "ruled in favor of Comcast, saying Tennis Channel had failed to prove that Comcast had discriminated against it by placing the channel in a higher-priced sports tier with fewer subscribers." The net has been "lobbying for at least four years to be included in Comcast's basic service package that serves more than 21 million homes." Tennis Channel argued that it should be "placed on equal footing with two sports channels that Comcast owns that are included in Comcast's basic service package" -- Golf Channel and NBCSN (L.A. TIMES, 2/25). Tennis Channel said that the dispute "isn’t over." The net in a statement said, “There remain a number of available options for Tennis Channel in the case, and we are considering our next steps in light of these options" (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 2/25). In N.Y., Edward Wyatt wrote the issue "could be headed for a rematch of sorts." Comcast is "trying to merge with Time Warner Cable, and one of the issues that federal antitrust will be examining is whether a bigger Comcast would be so dominant that it could wield undue influence over programmers" (NYTIMES.com, 2/24).
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