On Wednesday, the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals denied the Tennis Channel's petition that asked the full panel of judges to hear its case accusing Comcast of anti-competitive behavior.
In May, Comcast won a unanimous court victory when three members of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. circuit ruled that the Tennis Channel had failed to prove that Comcast was guilty of discrimination by placing the Tennis Channel in a higher-priced sports tier with fewer subscribers.
That decision reversed a finding last year by the
Hours after the May ruling, which landed during the
The Tennis Channel has been lobbying unsuccessfully for more than three years to be included in Comcast's basic service that feeds more than 21 million homes. That package already includes two Comcast-owned sports channels — the
Besides potentially increasing its audience, being fully distributed on Comcast would also boost the distribution fees the Tennis Channel would collect from the nation's largest cable operator.
[Update: Sept. 4, 8:07 p.m. The Tennis Channel released a statement late Wednesday expressing disappointment in the ruling: "The U.S. Circuit Court decision today effectively strips the FCC of the ability to perform the role
Comcast, for its part, applauded the ruling.
"The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals found 3-0 that Comcast did not discriminate against the Tennis Channel. We are gratified the full court agreed with the panel's decision," Sena Fitzmaurice, a vice president of Comcast Corp., said in a statement.