NCTC, OLN Out of Penalty Box

The National Cable Television Cooperative, which sued OLN last fall over carriage issues relating to the National Hockey League, has settled that litigation with the sports network, officials confirmed Monday.

The terms of the settlement between the NCTC and OLN, owned by Comcast Corp., are confidential, according to a spokesman for the co-op. The case, filed in Kansas District State Court in November, was settled last month, the co-op said.

OLN issued a statement Monday regarding the resolution of the suit.

“The NCTC has been an excellent partner to OLN for many years,” the statement said. “We are pleased that we were able to come to a resolution and look forward to our continued relationship.”

In its complaint, the NCTC had alleged that OLN breached its carriage deal by requiring minimum subscriber-distribution benchmarks for its NHL telecasts.

The suit claimed that OLN was forcing the NCTC’s members to distribute OLN to at least 40% of their subscribers in order to receive the network’s package of 50 regular-season NHL games, as well as playoffs and Stanley Cup Finals telecasts.

Systems that didn’t hit the carriage benchmarks would suffer deletion of the games or an unspecified surcharge to offer NHL telecasts, the NCTC claimed in its complaint.

At the time, OLN said it did “not understand NCTC’s lawsuit.”