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Cablevision filed the antitrust lawsuit against Viacom in federal court in Manhattan today

Cablevision Systems Corporation is suing Viacom for making it pay extra for less popular ancillary networks in order to receive the more preferred networks.

According to Cablevision, Viacom made it pay for 14 ancillary networks like MTV Hits, VH1 Classic and Palladia in order to obtain popular networks that customers love, like MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon.

Cablevision went on to say that Viacom abused its market power by doing this, and even coerced Cablevision with threats of large financial penalties if it didn't comply.

"The manner in which Viacom sells its programming is illegal, anti-consumer, and wrong," said Cablevision. "Viacom effectively forces Cablevision's customers to pay for and receive little-watched channels in order to get the channels they actually want. Viacom's abuse of its market power is not only illegal, but also prevents Cablevision from delivering the programming that its customers want and that competes with Viacom's less popular channels."

Cablevision, which filed an antitrust lawsuit against Viacom in federal court in Manhattan today, said that it is seeking many solutions, including a permanent injunction barring Viacom from conditioning carriage of any or all of its core networks on Cablevision's licensing any or all of Viacom's ancillary networks; declaratory relief voiding the December 2012 carriage agreement; to effectuate the permanent relief, a requirement that Viacom permit Cablevision to carry the core networks and ancillary products on terms pending negotiation of a new, lawful agreement, and treble damages and legal fees.

Source: Market Watch

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RE: how do you bill customers Cablevision?
By Kuad on 2/26/2013 11:06:26 PM , Rating: 4
Viacom requires they be bundled. Cablevision sues for the right to unbundle the purchase on their end, and you ask why Cablevision doesn't already offer it unbundled?
How about because they have to pay for the stuff you don't want, or they can't get you the stuff you do want. So they get what you want, but also pass along the other crap they had to buy to get it.
This is a good sign that the cable providers see the writing on the wall and are working towards a la carte pricing. We can only hope.

RE: how do you bill customers Cablevision?
By tjacoby on 2/27/2013 12:05:10 AM , Rating: 2
I was about to disagree with you until I read the whole thing.

The writing has been on the wall for a while- Since the advent of Netflix Watch Instantly, people have started clamoring for something that provides a more tailored version of what they actually want to watch. This is where the market is headed.

I think Intel's recent push for such a system could really push the market further, but don't be fooled, it will be a VERY painful transition.

You read it here first.

The various networks will fight (Viacom is a good example), because they have so many BS networks and so much to lose. A La Carte prices will not be much better than what current prices are (though I would guess slightly), but as the market moves that way, prices will stagnate over time (below the rate of inflation) and will prove to be worthwhile, because the networks will be forced to respond and eliminate the BS stations and programming that no one watches.

Its a great thing for the market, but I for one will be very interested watching the flame wars that happen over the concept of it, and also how the smaller cable companies can cope (Buckeye Cablesystem of Toledo, Ohio, which I despise, will not like it).

RE: how do you bill customers Cablevision?
By slunkius on 2/27/2013 9:11:50 AM , Rating: 2
You read it here first

but i already read this someplace else :) no cookie for you!

By Mitch101 on 2/27/2013 10:25:23 AM , Rating: 2
I hope this passes I just want to know can I sue Direct TV or Cable for having to pay for channel packages that contain channels I don't want.

You know they have the ability to provide doing channels individually but you get lumped into a channel package instead.

By Dr of crap on 2/27/2013 12:50:12 PM , Rating: 2
I reality with the ability to buy only those channels you want, and hopefully at not to high a price, that would INCREASE the subscribers for the cable providers and increase their cash flow. More would be willing to pony up $10 for a few channels that they want rather than pay $100 for the same!

By MadMan007 on 2/27/2013 1:20:23 AM , Rating: 2
Yes, that occurred to me which is why I posed questions rather than making statements. I didn't want to take the time to do the research to find out which channels Cablevision currently bundles and which it doesn't, and I'm not sure I'd even be able to find out which ones it gets from content providers bundled or unbundled.

I just see this for what it is, a fight for the profits between the service provider and content provider. Cablevision is a business too, not a charity, and while that might mean they are 'forced' to bundle now, it's no guarantee they won't continue to bundle. If anything, Cablevision would prefer to get the channels unbundled and then sell them bundled. But if my cynicism is proven wrong, great, I just call b.s. on Cablevision 'fighting for the consumer', at best that will be a side effect of them fighting to maximize their own business.

By InternetGeek on 2/27/2013 7:10:11 AM , Rating: 2
Could it be more about Viacom's vertical integration? I think is some cases (possibly their so called 'core' networks) they own the whole supply chain.

RE: how do you bill customers Cablevision?
By GotThumbs on 2/27/2013 9:08:47 AM , Rating: 3
I agree, but think the writing has been on the wall for quite sometime. Many people are paying outrageous amounts each month for many channels they don't even watch. Just think how much you pay a year for that stuff.

I ditched cable 3+ years ago,because it was not worth the cost IMO. I just have internet through Comcast and get my content from Over-The-Air HD, Netflix, and HULU (free). I have a smartTV and stream movies from my server when nothing is on regular TV.

I found I can live without cable and enjoy keeping more of my money in my pocket. My bill used to be ~110.00 MO and is now 50.00 (rounded up). 36 months X 60.00 = 2,160 in savings. Think about it.

Best wishes on keeping more of your money,

By GotThumbs on 2/27/2013 9:15:22 AM , Rating: 6
Another tip is buy a cable modem if you have internet from your cable provider and you see your being charged 7.00 each month on your bill.

Motorola modems go between $50.00 (on sale) to 99.00. In less than a would have paid for itself and each month after that....your keeping 7.00 of your money (84.00 Yr). It may not seem like much, but it can add up and how long do you expect to have cable internet?

Best wishes,

"If you mod me down, I will become more insightful than you can possibly imagine." -- Slashdot
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