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Comcast Cable Communications, LLC v. Federal Communications Commission

United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
717 F.3d 982 (2013)


Facts

Tennis Channel (plaintiff) filed a complaint against Comcast Cable Communications, LLC (Comcast) with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) (defendant), alleging Comcast violated federal law by refusing to place Tennis Channel on the same cable tier as Comcast-owned channels Golf Channel and Versus. Specifically, Comcast placed Golf Channel and Versus on a widely-distributed, lower-priced tier but placed Tennis Channel on a higher tier. Section 616 of the Communications Act of 1934 (the Act) stated a multichannel video programming distributor (MVPD) such as Comcast could not discriminate against an unaffiliated channel if the effect of the discrimination was to unreasonably restrain the unafilliated channel from competing fairly. An administrative law judge ruled in favor of Tennis Channel. The FCC affirmed. Comcast petitioned for review, claiming that Tennis Channel’s proposed carriage agreement placing it on the lower tier would not provide any additional revenue for Comcast and would lose Comcast money.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Williams, J.)

Concurrence (Edwards, J.)

Concurrence (Kavanaugh, J.)

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