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Media Bureau Drops Other Cleat: Reclaims NFL Complaint

The FCC's Media Bureau Wednesday added a New Year's Eve decision to its Christmas Eve notice that it was reclaiming program access complaints from an administrative law judge.

The decision was to also take back the complaint against Comcast by the NFL Network. The move was expected after FCC Chairman Kevin Martin told reporters Tuesday that the reasoning that applied to the first decision also applied to the NFL complaint.

That reasoning was that since the bureau had delegated all the complaints for adjudication with a 60-day timetable and since the judge had said that deadline could not be met, it was rightly back in the Media Bureau's hands.

The NFL said it was expecting the decision. It had asked the FCC for clarification after the Christmas Eve decision did not include its complaint. The bureau said Wednesday it agreed that "the decision applies equially" to the NFL's complaint.

"In the wake of last week's Media Bureau decisions in similar cases brought by other independent channels, today's ruling regarding NFL Network's complaint against Comcast is no surprise," the network said in a statement. "We continue to seek a prompt and fair resolution of the discrimination claim that we filed last May against Comcast. We hope that this ruling will clear the way for such a result."