Cable and Sports Programming Cannot Be Blocked According To US Appeals Court

By on Jun 12, 2011 in Business, Sports, Television Comments

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in  Washington ruled unanimously on Friday, June 10, 2011 that cable operators cannot block access to some sports programming, according to reports by several international news sites.

District of Columbia Court of Appeals Logo
District of Columbia Court of Appeals Logo
Image Credit: DC Court of Appeals

The recent development will allow the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to bar cable companies from denying access to sports  programs via terrestrial ground lines and not satellite feeds.

Cablevision Systems Corp. failed to convince the court that the FCC does not have statutory authority to regulate the withholding sports programs.

According to the D.C. appeals court decision, the courts “see nothing in the statute that unambiguously precludes the Commission from extending its program access rules to terrestrially delivered programing.”

The FCC welcomed the court decision as this will “promote competition,” according to Neil Grace, a spokesman of the agency.

The court case stemmed from a complaint by Verizon Communications Inc, AT&T Inc and satellite providers DirecTV and DISH Network Corp that they are being denied access to sports programing by other cable companies.

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