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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a la carte is not so smart
2/27/2013 1:18:38 PM
I have a cable plan with Comcast, that is very poor in the channel selection. The programming comes courtesy of a "free" cable plan. I basically get about half of the regular channels, some I want, and others not so much. I think this is a gimmick to try to get me to buy the full plan and I see this as being where the cable companies will go if a la carte pricing becomes mainstream. I see them offering smaller packages of bundled channels, but like my selection, there will still be stuff you don't want. I don't think the cable companies would ever go to a system of letting customers choose stations individually.
RE: a la carte is not so smart
2/27/2013 8:45:10 PM
That is my cynical suspicion. All the service providers are looking to do is shift forced bundling from what they receive to what they provide. I would be utterly shocked if they offer true unbundled options that aren't a ripoff.
"We basically took a look at this situation and said, this is bullshit." -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng's take on patent troll Soverain
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