Supreme Court aces Tennis Channel's bid for Comcast distribution

Michelle Clancy | 25-02-2014

After months of TV carriage disputes, Tennis Channel has been handed a game, set, match kind of loss with the US Supreme Court ruling against it in its attempt to have Comcast add it to an additional 18 million homes.

Tennis Channel has been relegated to a premium subscription tier on the No 1 cable MSO's service, meaning that its exposure is somewhat limited compared to other sports networks, including Comcast-owned Golf Channel and NBC Sports Network. After complaining that it was being unfairly discriminated against, the FCC ordered Comcast in July 2012 to add the network to the same expanded basic programming tier that include the other sports programming. But, the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit threw out that decision last year, which Tennis Channel appealed.

Now, it appears to be over.

Tennis Channel issued a terse statement: "We are disappointed that the Supreme Court chose not to hear the case. This is not, of course, a decision on its merits, and not entirely surprising given the court's crowded docket. There remain a number of available options for Tennis Channel in the case, and we are considering our next steps in light of these options."

Comcast meanwhile said that it was "pleased that the finding by the lower court that Comcast did not discriminate against Tennis Channel will stand. We continue to make Tennis Channel available to tennis fans in terms with our long-standing contract."