Los Angeles

Justices Could Return Cable TV Race Bias Suit to Lower Court

If Allen prevails, black-owned businesses will have an easier time winning suits that allege discrimination in contracting.

The Supreme Court seems likely to overturn a lower court ruling in favor of an African-American media mogul and comedian who’s suing cable giant Comcast for racial discrimination.

The justices appeared to be in broad agreement Wednesday that an appeals court applied the wrong legal standard in allowing business owner Byron Allen’s suit against Comcast to go forward. Allen has a separate lawsuit against Charter Communications.

Allen says the cable companies refuse to carry his television channels because he’s black. The companies say his programming isn’t very good.

The issue at the court is whether Allen needs to show in his complaint that race was among the factors in Comcast's decision not to offer him a contract or whether it was the decisive factor.

NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations is the division of NBCUniversal, which is owned by Comcast Corporation.

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