Even with a January FCC order closing the terrestrial loophole and a court decision affirming that order, it looks like competitors like Verizon's FiOS and DirecTV will still have to pull company-owned regional sports programming from Cablevision Systems' cold dead hands. According to information obtained by Multichannel News, the MSO has jumped over the FCC and taken its case directly to the U.S. Court of Appeals for D.C.
In a petition, Cablevision said it was appealing the FCC's jurisdiction and authority because it is "contrary to constitutional right; violates the Communications Act of 1934, the Administrative Procedure Act and other statutes." As if that isn't enough, Cablevision added that the FCC ruling is "arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, or otherwise contrary to law."
Comcast had hinted that it would similarly offer battle when the FCC, under pressure from telcos, closed the "terrestrial loophole" cable operators used to withhold local programming-primarily sports-from telco and satellite competitors. Now, however, the MSO is more interested in making friends to finish its merger with NBC Universal than ruffling more feathers in Washington, so they've been quiet.
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