Comcast seeks delay of FCC order

Says enforcement of Tennis ruling would cause 'irreparable harms'

As it seeks a court appeal, Comcast is asking that the FCC put off enforcement of an order requiring that the cabler give Tennis Channel carriage equal to that for sports networks it owns, Golf Channel and Versus.

Last week, a majority of FCC commissioners sided with an administrative law judge who concluded that Comcast discriminated against Tennis Channel by placing it on a different, more expensive tier. Comcast was given 45 days to remedy the situation.

Comcast said in a filing on Monday that it would like the FCC to “stay” its order, arguing that “neither it nor its customers should be compelled to suffer such severe, irreparable harms” before a court reviews the case. It asked that the FCC decide by Aug. 7 whether to grant a stay and said that it would seek to sideline the order in the courts if the commission issues no ruling or rejects its request.

The cabler asserts that the FCC’s order “impermissibly permits” Tennis Channel to rewrite a carriage contract “years after the fact” and that it violates its First Amendment freedoms.

Meanwhile, a Court of Appeals panel refused to put a stay on a new FCC rule that requires broadcasters to post information about political ad sales online starting Thursday. The National Assn. of Broadcasters had sought an emergency stay, arguing that the rule would put a burden on stations and disclose competitive information.