Comcast pursuing appeal on carriage of sports network

Tennis Channel is pressing the FCC not to delay its July 24 order that Comcast give it carriage equal to that of sports channels the cable operator owns, including Golf Channel and the NBC Sports Network.

Comcast is seeking to put a hold on the FCC’s order, made last month, as it pursues an appeal.

In a brief filed with the FCC, Tennis Channel said that it was “harmed every day that Comcast continues its illegal discrimination,” adding that its less desirable placement in the Comcast lineup affects its ability to draw viewers and ad revenue and to obtain carriage by other cable operators.

A majority of FCC commissioners ruled that Comcast engaged in discriminatory practices by favoring its affiliated sports networks. Comcast was given 45 days to comply with the order, which may mean moving Tennis Channel to a tier with wider distribution.

On Wednesday, Comcast followed through on its vow to seek court action. In a filing with the D.C. Court of Appeals, Comcast called the FCC’s decision “arbitrary, capricious and an abuse of discretion” and said that the order requires it to pay “hundreds of thousands of dollars to the U.S. Treasury and what may amount to hundreds of millions of additional dollars to Tennis Channel.”

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