Classic Sports net wins FCC ruling

The FCC ruled this week that cable’s Classic Sports Network “has established a prima facie showing” that Cablevision Systems Corp. violated the Communications Act of 1934 by refusing to carry Classic Sports on its systems unless the programming service granted Cablevision a financial interest in the service or exclusive distribution rights.

In its judgment, the Federal Communications Commission ordered further hearings on disputes still pending in the case, to be heard before an administrative law judge.

Classic Sports Net filed its complaint with the FCC on March 17, alleging that Cablevision had violated federal law by demanding an ownership stake and sole market distribution as a precondition to carrying the network on its systems.

The complaint said Cablevision engaged in coercive behavior and retaliated against Classic Sports for failing to grant the requests. Classic Sports has asked the FCC to order mandatory carriage of its service on all Cablevision systems as a partial remedy.

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