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Statement of Commissioner Pai on the D.C. Circuit's Decision

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Released: May 28, 2013

Federal Communications Commission

News Media Information 202 / 418-0500

445 12th Street, S.W.


Washington, D. C. 20554

TTY: 1-888-835-5322

This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action.
See MCI v. FCC. 515 F 2d 385 (D.C. Circ 1974).



May 28, 2013

I am pleased that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has overturned the
Commission’s 2012 decision that Comcast had unlawfully discriminated against Tennis Channel.
This ruling is a big win for consumers. As former Commissioner McDowell and I explained in
our joint dissent, the Commission’s ruling would have resulted in cable operators paying to carry
channels that they didn’t want, and these higher programming costs would have come out of the
pockets of American consumers.

With this case concluded, I hope that the Commission will heed the lesson of today’s
D.C. Circuit decision and refrain from attempting to micromanage cable operators’ programming
decisions. Given the current state of the video marketplace, I agree with Judge Kavanaugh that
“the FCC cannot tell Comcast how to exercise its editorial discretion about what networks to
carry any more than the Government can tell Amazon or Politics and Prose or Barnes & Noble
what books to sell; or tell the Wall Street Journal or Politico or the Drudge Report what columns
to carry; or tell the MLB Network or ESPN or CBS what games to show; or tell SCOTUSblog or
How Appealing or The Volokh Conspiracy what legal briefs to feature.”

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