Byron Allen and Comcast Reach Settlement in Ongoing Racial Discrimination Lawsuit
Photo Credit: Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images for Entertainment Studios / Allen Media Group
After a five year legal battle, Byron Allen — media mogul and owner of The Weather Channel — and Comcast have come to a mutual settlement.
According to Black Enterprise, the communications company has agreed to pick up three channels that are a part of Allen’s Entertainment Studios: JusticeCentral.TV, Recipe.TV, and Comedy.TV.
Allen filed a $20 billion civil rights lawsuit against Comcast in 2015 citing the Civil Rights Act of 1866 which prohibits racial discrimination in business contracts. Allen asserted that Comcast’s channel lineup featured Caucasian-owned channels that didn’t measure up to the mainstream visibility of his channels.
The Supreme Court threw out Allen’s suit, handing it back over to lower courts to determine if Comcast’s decision to not pick up his cable channels involved race.
Earlier this year New York City Comptroller, Scott Stinger, encouraged Comcast to settle the suit with Allen over nine million Comcast shares worth $423 million that are a part of the New York City’s pension fund investment. Stinger’s settlement advice also urged Comcast to be on the right side of history and not contribute to the ever-present racial divide in America.
According to Black Enterprise, the long fight for settlement also rectifies the terms of Comcast’s deal with The Weather Channel, allowing Comcast to launch the free Weather Channel Local Now app on its Xfinity and Flex platforms as well as the WeLoveWeather.TV website.
Allen is pleased with the settlement terms and looks forward to his new partnership with Comcast.
“We’re excited to begin a new phase of partnership with Comcast and Xfinity, including the distribution of our cable channels for the first time on Xfinity platforms,” Allen told Variety.
Comcast is also looking forward to bringing new content to its consumers.
“We are pleased to have reached this multifaceted agreement that continues our long relationship with The Weather Channel while bringing Xfinity customers additional content,” Bec Heap, senior vice president of video and entertainment for Comcast Cable, told Variety. “We look forward to an ongoing partnership.”