FCC says Time Warner discriminated against Mid-Atlantic Sports Network

November 14, 2008

Time Warner Cable discriminated against the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network (MASN) by denying it carriage in North Carolina, the FCC media bureau has found, backing the finding of an independent arbitrator.

The independent arbitrator found that Time Warner deliberately discriminated against MASN. Time Warner had argued that because it offered to carry MASN on a digital tier, it was not denying carriage.

“During the period that MASN sought carriage, TWC owned News 14, an RSN that broadcast a significant number of the games of the Charlotte NBA franchise, the Bobcats, in North Carolina,” the FCC said. “MASN’s programming was at least as popular as the sports programming distributed by News 14 and thus comparable in terms of demand. Yet, TWC carried its affiliated RSN on an analog tier but refused to carry comparably popular unaffiliated programming at all.”

The FCC ordered that Time Warner Cable commence carriage of MASN on an analog tier of its North Carolina cable system; however, the commission turned down a request by MASN to set damages against Time Warner Cable.

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