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GOSSIP Byron Allen: Media Mogul Settles $20 Billion Racial Discrimination Lawsuit with Comcast

Byron Allen makes history again thanks to 10.6 BIL media deal

byron allen

Byron Allen and Comcast have settled their long-running racial discrimination dispute. 

As part of a settlement announced Thursday, Comcast will carry Allen’s Comedy.TV, Recipe.TV and JusticeCentral.TV — via its Xfinity cable television packages, according to the Los Angeles Times, NBC News reports. 

“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 said in a statement. “I am very happy with the deal and Comcast and I look forward to a mutually-rewarding, long-term relationship.”

Bec Heap, Comcast senior vice president for video and entertainment, added: “We are pleased to have reached this multifaceted agreement that continues our long relationship with the Weather Channel while bringing Xfinity customers additional content.”

In related news, last week, Comcast pledged $100 million for social justice and said the company would “put the full weight of our company’s media resources behind highlighting Black voices and Black stories.”

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Byron Allen invokes Civil Rights Act of 1866 in historic 10B suit against cable giant


BEVERLY HILLS, CA - MARCH 04: Jamie Foxx and Byron Allen attend Byron Allen's Oscar Gala Viewing Party to Support The Children's Hospital Los Angeles at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel on March 4, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images)

Over the course of his career, Entertainment Studios founder and CEO, Byron Allen has earned a reputation for shaking up the status quo. Thanks to a new acquisition in partnership with Sinclair Broadcast Group, valued at a whopping $10.6 billion, it looks like the trailblazing media mogul has done it again!

Friday, it was announced that Diamond Sports Group, a subsidiary of Sinclair, would be purchasing 21 regional sports networks (plus Fox College Sports) from Walt Disney Co, with Allen slated to become an equity and content partner.

Previously, Disney had agreed to sell the 22 networks in order to get regulatory approval from the Department of Justice for its $71.3 billion deal with 21st Century Fox.

“This is a very exciting transaction for Sinclair to be able to acquire highly complementary assets,” Chris Ripley, president and CEO of Sinclair said in a statement. Ripley added that although consumer viewing habits have shifted over the years, “the tradition of watching live sports and news remains ingrained in our culture.”

While this deal is indeed exciting, Allen, who bought The Weather Channel for $300 million dollars last year, is no stranger to making this sort of history. As a teenager, he became the youngest comedian to ever appear on The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson. He went on to become the first African American to own seven  television networks, the first African American to to own a movie studio that distributes directly to theaters, the first African American to own a 24-hour news organization (Weather Channel), and now is the first African American to be part of a $10 billion media acquisition. He is a true groundbreaker!

“My position was that I would have to work 100 times harder to get the same thing as a white person,” he explained last December during a Variety sponsored diversity and inclusion panel in Los Angeles. “The lack of true economic inclusion for African Americans will end with me.”

Although the final price tag for this acquisition was far less than the $20 billion the channels were originally valued at in the larger Disney-21st Century Fox deal, Christine McCarthy, Disney’s senior exec VP and CFO, said the media giant was “pleased to have reached this agreement.”

Byron Allen, the TV host who’s building an entertainment empire, is now one of the backers behind one of the biggest deals in sports media https://bloom.bg/3044wBY 

Ex-Comedian Byron Allen Elbows Way Into $9.6 Billion Sports Deal

Byron Allen, the onetime comedian and TV host who’s building a broad-based entertainment empire, is now one of the backers behind the biggest deal in sports media in years.

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(Photo by Mark Davis/Getty Images)

This week, Byron Allen, chairman and CEO of Entertainment Studios (ESN) and the National Association of African American-Owned Media (NAAAOM), continued his epic assent into the legal stratosphere of Black America’s social engineering and provided a real-time case study regarding the pursuit of justice for racism against minority business owners and entrepreneurs. 

In Monday’s ruling by California Federal District Court Judge George H. Wu, Mr. Allen survived a motion to dismiss filed by Charter Communications Inc. Within this balancing of the scales for justice, Charter Communications must respond to Allen’s $10 billion dollar lawsuit for racial discrimination in contracting against wholly minority-owned companies.

“We have evidence of racial bias harbored by top level Charter executives with decision-making authority, and allege, in detail, the discriminatory treatment ESN suffered at the hands of these executives,” said Skip Miller, attorney for Allen.

Founded by Allen in 1993, Entertainment Studios now owns seven 24-hour cable televisionnetworks and is one of the largest independent producers and distributors of content for broadcast television stations. ESN is also the parent-company for theGrio.com.

Allen’s suit against Charter is filed under the Civil Rights Act of 1866 42 U.S.C. §1981.

When Americans think of civil rights and racial discrimination, the common understanding is narrowly tailored to the racial biases which plague the employer-employee relationship. However, in terms of racism – which plagues business owners and entrepreneurs – knowledge on pursuing legal remedy is scarce. 

Historically, the persecution of minority business owners intensified shortly after the end of the Civil War. In protest of the newly enacted Thirteenth Amendment, various Southern and Northern states enacted the so-called “Black Codes.” These codes imposed herculean legal limitations upon newly freed former slaves, severely limiting their ability to enter and enforce contracts for goods and labor.space“> In response, Congress enacted the Civil Rights Act of 1866, which officially conferred a series of legal rights equally to all citizens, including the right to contract as an independent business owner. 

Presently, Section 1981 of the Civil Rights Act of 1866, when combined with the Fourteenth Amendment (which extends certain constitutional protections to businesses), seemingly provides the legal foundation for minority business owners to defend themselves against racial discrimination. 

But most minority businesses, despite actually being subjected to racial discrimination, are seldom aware of how to legally navigate the Civil Rights Act of 1866. Even worse, these minority business owners are too often left perplexed by the court’s constant rejection of articulate claims via early dismissal litigation tactics deployed by discriminating business owners. 

And then comes Allen’s Entertainment Studios.

Soon after filing their suit for racial discrimination, Allen and NAAAOM were met with Charter Communications’ motion to dismiss the suit. Generally, a motion to dismiss requests the court to throw out a case without hearing its merits. The defendant commonly files these motions immediately after the plaintiff files a complaint. Spanning back to before the Civil War, pre-trial motions, such as a motion to dismiss, have unethically been utilized to severely restrict the ability of minorities to fully engage the legal process.

Part of the problem is that these shotgun-like motions are based on a loosely articulated assertion that said discrimination and its effects are a by-product of an overriding business interest and not discriminatory intent. A motion to dismiss attempts to put the burden on the plaintiff to prove absolute or direct evidence of discrimination in its initial pleading, as opposed to in litigation. This is all without allowing the plaintiff to exercise its legal right to perform a “discovery” of the defendant, its employees and relevant records. 

Mr. Allen surviving Charter Communications’ motion to dismiss serves as a much needed case study on the protections of Section 1981 of the Civil Rights Act of 1866 and its direct application to minority business owners against private companies. 

According to Mr. Allen, “The cable industry spends $70 billion a year licensing cable networks and 100 percent African American-owned media receives ZERO. This is completely unacceptable. We will not stop until we achieve real economic inclusion for 100 percent African American-owned media.”

For discerning minority business owners and entrepreneurs, following the legal framework illuminated by Allen and NAAAOM will provide a spark of understanding on how to hold private businesses accountable for racial discrimination in contracting. More importantly, it provides serious legal precedent.

Unlike other Civil Rights protections for employees, the enforcement provision of Section 1981 of the Civil Rights Act of 1866 for minority business owners is vested within the courts, not a federal agency. In the spirit of fair and open competition, the Allen decision set a benchmark legal precedent upon which all judicial jurisdictions and minority business owners subjected to racial discrimination must take notice.

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Comment by Ignar on July 6, 2020 at 10:09am

People are usually upset when I say, "Stop praying, start litigating". They love the imaginary god that the slaver gave unto them. The definition of the words in the US Constitution are what matters, not your holey scriptures. Way to go.

Comment by mr1stroke on July 5, 2020 at 11:35pm
Lol like i said before some just dont believe in fighting so they jist rely on the white men, i told yall to wait that brother will win this case, thats why white people love niggers bit fear black folks, they know the ignorant are not smart, they dont read and they lazy so they wont stand up for nothing
Comment by Ignar on May 4, 2019 at 4:39pm

Choose your jurors wisely Mr Allen. Those that have the religious paradigm will look at the plaintiffs melanin production instead of the evidence. Religious zealots are the worst, they are responsible for the stupidity and injustice that continues today.

Comment by mr1stroke on May 4, 2019 at 1:44pm
Lol some just dont get it while you are out ther making poor political decsisions voting for the wrong candidates without agenda, or making poor financial decisons there are thoae making power moves you barely know of them unless you follow the black business seminars, im heading to the black film Festival in June, the black business seminar in Charlotte this summer and the essence featival if you cant be that part of this crowd you may die in that dark hood
Comment by Diamond Smith on October 27, 2016 at 7:46pm
Yes I learned a lot too. We need more of this for our struggling black owned business..
Comment by El-Bull on October 26, 2016 at 7:04pm

Thanks, i learned something new today and will be applying certain parts to my fight against gentrifiction in my area..

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