|NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 29: Byron Allen arrives at the Broadcasting & Cable Hall Of Fame In New York's Historic Ziegfeld Theatre on October 29, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images for Entertainment Studios / Allen Media Group)|
Byron Allen, the chief executive of Entertainment Studios Inc., alleges that cable giant Comcast (CMCSA) refused to license his company’s channels — for instance, Cars.TV and Pets.TV — because he is black, claiming Comcast discriminates against minority-owned programming in its licensing agreements.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, based in San Francisco, ruled earlier this year that the case could proceed, and the Supreme Court announced in June that it would hear the case.
Civil rights lawsuits against Comcast and Charter:
Allen’s company, Entertainment Studios, filed lawsuits against Comcast and Charter Communications (CHTR) in 2015 and 2016, saying both cable companies had violated the Civil Rights Act of 1866, which established the right of African Americans to enter into contracts as white individuals could. Allen points to the cable companies’ repeatedly declining to license his networks, in contrast with other distributors like Direct TV (T), Dish Network (DISH), and Verizon (VZ) that agreed to carry his programming.