The Tennis Channel on Wednesday filed a petition with the Supreme Court, asking the justices to review a lower court ruling that sided with Comcast in the long-running dispute over whether the cable giant discriminated against the sports channel by refusing to place it on the same tier as channels it owns.
“We are seeking Supreme Court review of the D.C. circuit’s decision in our case because the lower court strayed from longstanding federal discrimination law to invent an arbitrary and unfair standard for deciding cable carriage complaints,” Tennis Channel said in a statement. “The ruling ignores Congress’ intent to ensure a diverse, competitive media marketplace and eviscerates the FCC’s congressionally assigned responsibility to regulate program network competition in the public interest.”
Tennis Channel pointed to FCC findings, as well as that of an administrative law judge, that Comcast violated a portion of the 1992 Cable Act when it refused to place Tennis Channel on the same region of its lineup as the Golf Channel and Versus (now NBC Sports Network), two channels it owns.
Comcast has denied it was a violation, and a three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit said in a May decision that there was not “adequate evidence of unlawful discrimination.”
The appeals court refused to rehear the case in September.
In a statement, Comcast said that the D.C. Circuit “has spoken emphatically and unanimously that Comcast did not discriminate against Tennis Channel. We are confident that this ruling will continue to be upheld.”