Cablevision Sues Viacom for Forcing it to Purchase Networks it Doesn't Want
February 26, 2013 9:00 PM
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Cablevision filed the antitrust lawsuit against Viacom in federal court in Manhattan today
Cablevision Systems Corporation is
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.
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RE: how do you bill customers Cablevision?
2/27/2013 1:20:23 AM
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.
"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer
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