Jilted Boston NBC affiliate WHDH files appeal against Comcast

The owners of jilted Boston NBC affiliate WHDH-TV will appeal a judge's decision last month to toss its suit against Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA).

Ed Ansin and his Sunbeam Television sued Comcast after the conglomerate decided not to renew its affiliate contract for NBC with WHDH and instead decided to launch a new NBC owned and operated station in Boston early next year. 

"We filed a notice of appeal with the federal court," Ansin said in a statement. "We believe the judge got it all wrong, so we are reviewing our options for an appeal."

Announcing his verdict last month, Judge Richard Stearns said, "Absent any actionable harm attributable to Comcast, it is simply an indurate consequence of doing business in a competitive and unsentimental marketplace," 

Stearns, however, encouraged Ansin and Sunbeam to take the battle to the FCC, which imposed conditions on Comcast during its purchase of NBCUniversal in 2011. 

However, according to the Boston Herald, WHDH filed its notice of appeal in the U.S. District Court in Boston yesterday.

In its suit, WHDH said that NBCU's new Boston signal won't reach as many viewers. Because of this, the plaintiffs added, Comcast is failing in public service pledges tied to the NBCU merger. 

"The losses WHDH will suffer as a result of the expiration of its affiliate contract have no causal relationship to the geographical reach of WNEU's broadcast signal and any resulting loss of access by viewers to free over-the-air television content," Stearns said. 

For more:
- read this Boston Herald story
- read this TV Predicitons story

Related articles:
Judge tosses out suit against Comcast filed by jilted Boston affiliate
Boston's WHDH-TV files suit against Comcast for pulling NBC affiliation
NBC set to drop Boston affiliate, launch new Beantown O&O more focused on OTA business