The Supreme Court case between Byron Allen and Comcast is not only heating up but could also set a precedent for future lawsuits similar to this one down the line.
The entrepreneur, who originally filed a lawsuit in 2015, is alleging racism on the part of Comcast. According to Allen, Comcast is refusing to license Allen’s niche channels that focus on topics such as criminal justice and cars.
As stated in an article by Eriq Gardner for The Hollywood Reporter, Comcast’s bid to acquire NBCUniversal came with measures to calm worries that the merger would have a negative impact on diversity. Comcast also made donations to groups such as the NAACP, National Urban League and Sharpton’s National Action Network. However, Allen questioned Comcast’s relationship with these civil rights groups.
To make matters worse, a noted civil rights activist is also a prominent subject of the lawsuit. It was alleged that Sharpton was complicit in helping Comcast to foster discrimination. It was also alleged that Sharpton’s $750,000 annual salary as a host for MSNBC was a disguised donation for supporting Comcast’s acquisition of NBCUniversal.
Allen, who most notably bought the Weather Channel in a $300 million purchase, unveiled a multi-million dollar deal to acquire 11 local TV stations that are associated with CBS, NBC and ABC.
Allen’s case, which was rejected by a district court judge, is set to be argued by the Supreme Court on November 13.
Photo: Getty Images
From Harlem to Hollywood, get the Black entertainment news you need in your inbox daily.