Heading towards a $20 billion showdown with Comcast at the U.S. Supreme Court this fall in his long running racial discrimination lawsuit against the media giant, Byron Allen today tore into the Brian Roberts-run company and an 11th hour intervention by the Department of Justice. “This is historic,” the Entertainment Studios boss said of an Aug. 15 brief filed by the feds seeking to tighten the definitions of a Reconstruction Era statute in Comcast’s favor. “Donald Trump’s DOJ and Comcast are working together to destroy a civil rights statute in the U.S. Supreme Court.”
The broadcast syndication and cable programming veteran has stepped up his game with purchases of The Weather Channel and some network affiliates while joining Sinclair Broadcast Group in buying Disney’s regional sports networks. And he’s looking for even more opportunities, hinting that his next big growth spurt may come after an IPO.
On Monday, the justices of the high court announced that they had accepted for review a case claiming discrimination in contracting against Comcast in alleged violation of section 1981 of the Civil Rights Act. The $20 billion lawsuit comes from Byron Allen’s Entertainment Studios Network, an African American owned programmer upset over the way that cable TV distributors refused to make good offers to license his channels.
The Entertainment Studios CEO’s Allen Media is getting CBS, NBC and Fox affiliates in Evansville, Ind., and Lafayette, La.
Disney’s sale of 21 regional sports networks is heating up yet again — thanks to comedian-turned-media mogul Byron Allen jumping into the already crowded and contentious race. Allen, 58, is joining forces with Sinclair Broadcast Group to bid on the RSNs.
A federal appeals court cleared the way for Byron Allen’s Entertainment Studios Networks to pursue civil rights suits against two of the nation’s biggest cable operators, Charter Communications and Comcast. These lawsuits seek sizable damages — $20 billion against Comcast and $10 billion against Charter — for alleged violations of the Civil Rights Act.
Byron Allen, Mara Brock Akil, Robert Greenblatt, Rita Moreno, Betty White and Henry Winkler will be feted at an awards gala set to take place during NATPE Miami 2019 on Jan. 23.
Byron Allen, the comedian turned media mogul, is in the hunt to buy Tribune Media, the 42-station TV group, which went on the block for a second time earlier this year. Allen, who paid $300 million for the Weather Channel in April, owns Los Angeles-based Entertainment Studios, an independent movie production company, and has been on the prowl to expand his media footprint.
Owner Byron Allen says this will allow it to “make large-scale acquisitions, which is a major part of our strategy going forward.”