Potential suitors for the Tennis Channel might want to wait and see what the referees have to say about the cable network's serve before making any deals.
Speculation is again heating up that the Tennis Channel, owned by several private equity firms including Apollo Partners and Bain Capital, may be on the block. Last week, the New York Post reported that Al Jazeera Media Networks is interested in the network.
People close to the Tennis Channel and Al Jazeera downplayed that story. But if there is some truth to it, Al Jazeera might want to keep its wallet closed until a legal battle the Tennis Channel is engaged in with Comcast Corp. plays out.
The Tennis Channel is waiting for word from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit about the fate of an order from the Federal Communications Commission that could be crucial to the channel's future. Last year, the FCC said Comcast had discriminated against the Tennis Channel by not making it available to the same number of its subscribers who receive Golf Channel and NBC Sports Network, both of which are owned by the cable giant's NBCUniversal unit.
Comcast appealed the FCC's order and a ruling is expected in the coming months. During arguments, it appeared that the court was favoring Comcast, which has alleged that the Tennis Channel is using the agency to try to get out of a contract it doesn't like.