The WasteWatcher: The Staff Blog of Citizens Against Government Waste

Set and Match!

The WasteWatcher is the staff blog of Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) and the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW). For questions, contact blog@cagw.org.


On Tuesday, May 28, 2013, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia overturned the Federal Communication Commission's (FCC) ruling on the placement of the Tennis Channel in Comcast's cable tiers of service.  Comcast, a multichannel video programming distributor (MVPD), already offered the Tennis Channel to its subscribers in its premium package, as part of a contract agreement signed eight years ago.

However, on July 24, 2012, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) determined that the Tennis Channel had been subjected to discrimination by Comcast in its tier placement on the company’s cable systems.  The FCC overturned the existing agreement between the two companies, and dictated that Comcast must carry the Tennis Channel in the same basic package as the Golf Channel and NBC Sports, and pay a $375,000 fine to the owners of the Tennis Channel.

A Citizens Against Government Waste blog post about the FCC’s decision stated “This decision does not just affect one company.  It is not about a cable network wanting a better position on a cable provider’s service tier; it is about the FCC micromanaging MVPD contract negotiations without any regard to whether a channel is a good value to the MVPD and its subscribers.”

In its ruling overturning the FCC’s decision, the court noted that the FCC failed to provide evidence that Comcast would financially benefit from distributing the Tennis Channel more broadly, or discriminated against the Tennis Channel on the basis of affiliation.

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