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US: Channel 7 loses court fight with Comcast over NBC status

 |  May 17, 2016

WHDH-TV has lost its court battle with Comcast over the cable giant’s decision to yank the station’s NBC affiliate status and launch its own station, with a judge rejecting WHDH’s claims that Comcast broke a contract agreement and violated antitrust law.

The Boston station, which is owned by billionaire Ed Ansin, launched the lawsuit in March after Comcast announced it was taking away NBC programming from WHDH and starting its own station using NECN, the Comcast-owned regional cable news network in Needham, beginning in January 2017.

WHDH had contended that Comcast violated its agreement with NBC affiliates by planning to use a signal from New Hampshire that would deprive millions of Massachusetts residents of free over-the-air access to NBC shows.

US District Judge Richard Stearns found that while the lack of access to NBC programming brought on by the move is “a matter of public concern,” WHDH has no ability under the affiliate agreement to fight out the matter in court. Stearns had asked at a Thursday hearing whether the access issue was better left to federal regulators.

Full Content: Boston Business Journal

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