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Cablevision Sues Viacom for Making It Run Second-Tier Channels
adage.com ^ | 26Feb13 | Jeanine Poggi

Posted on 02/28/2013 2:20:26 AM PST by Las Vegas Dave

Cablevision Systems Corp. is suing Viacom Inc., alleging the distributor of MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon is forcing it to carry and pay for 14 lower-rated networks such as Palladia and VH1 Classic.

"The manner in which Viacom sells its programming is illegal, anti-consumer, and wrong," the cable-systems operator said in a prepared statement. "Viacom effectively forces Cablevision's customers to pay for and receive little-watched channels in order to get the channels they actually want." The company added: "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 called out networks like Palladia, MTV Hits and VH1 Classic, describing them as being less popular among its' subscribers.

The cable provider, which filed an antitrust lawsuit in federal court in Manhattan on Tuesday, alleges that Viacom has threatened to impose massive financial penalties unless Cablevision complied with Viacom's demands.

"Viacom's conduct harms Cablevision and its customers, and impairs competition by making Cablevision pay for and carry networks that many subscribers do not want to watch, while other networks are excluded from distribution, preventing Cablevision from being able to differentiate its services and harming subscribers," the company said.

"At the request of distributors, Viacom and other programmers have long offered discounts to those who agree to provide additional network distribution," a Viacom spokeswoman said. "Many distributors take advantage of these win-win and pro-consumer arrangements. Reflecting the highly competitive cable-programming business, these arrangements have been upheld by a number of federal courts and on appeal. Viacom will vigorously defend this transparent attempt by Cablevision to use the courts to renegotiate our existing two month old agreement."

This comes as cable and satellite operators have begun re-evaluating low-rated networks as a way to mitigate costs. Time Warner Cable and Dish Network have been vocal about looking at the cost of each network relative to viewership.

To this end, Time Warner Cable dropped the independent channel, Ovation, on Jan. 1.

"We frequently have pointed out that there are serious problems with the current programming environment," a Time Warner Cable spokeswoman said. "We think this lawsuit raises important issues, and we look forward to their resolution in the courts."

"It's about time this is given some attention," said Ovation Chief Operating Officer Chad Gutstein. "It's not a free market and small independents like Ovation are not afforded an equal playing field."

"The aggressive stance taken by large media conglomerates leaves less room and money to go around for independent, vibrant programmers that serve smaller, but passionate audiences that love and want the family-friendly programming offered on GMC and Aspire," GMC Vice Chairman Brad Siegel. "We have raised this issue to Washington D.C. lawmakers for years; however it is one that continues to plague independent programmers. This is another concrete example of how this problem that has not been addressed continues to play out, ultimately hurting the consumer."


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Music/Entertainment; TV/Movies
KEYWORDS: hdtv

1 posted on 02/28/2013 2:20:33 AM PST by Las Vegas Dave
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To: ADemocratNoMore; advertising guy; aft_lizard; AJMaXx; Alice in Wonderland; american colleen; ...

HDTV pings!

Interested in the HDTV ping list?
Please Freepmail me (freepmail works best) if you would like your name added to the HDTV ping list,
(approximately 375+ freepers are currently on the HDTV ping list).
The pinged subjects can be HDTV technology, satellite, cable, OTA HD reception (Over The Air with roof top or indoor antennas), Broadcast specials, Sports, Blu Ray/HDDVD, and any and all subjects relating to HDTV.

Note: if you search Freerepublic using the keyword HDTV, you will find most of the past HDTV postings.

LasVegasDave.


2 posted on 02/28/2013 2:27:31 AM PST by Las Vegas Dave
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To: ADemocratNoMore; advertising guy; aft_lizard; AJMaXx; Alice in Wonderland; american colleen; ...

HDTV pings!

Interested in the HDTV ping list?
Please Freepmail me (freepmail works best) if you would like your name added to the HDTV ping list,
(approximately 375+ freepers are currently on the HDTV ping list).
The pinged subjects can be HDTV technology, satellite, cable, OTA HD reception (Over The Air with roof top or indoor antennas), Broadcast specials, Sports, Blu Ray/HDDVD, and any and all subjects relating to HDTV.

Note: if you search Freerepublic using the keyword HDTV, you will find most of the past HDTV postings.

LasVegasDave.


3 posted on 02/28/2013 2:28:31 AM PST by Las Vegas Dave
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To: Las Vegas Dave

This is an interesting topic. I have a Comcast package....of around 120 channels. To be honest...all I really need are the four local stations, and around a dozen cable channels (History Channel I/II, Discovery, Fox News, Business Channel, FX, AMC, TNT, TBS, A&E, TMC, TV Land, and ESPN).

The rest are all garbage.


4 posted on 02/28/2013 2:28:48 AM PST by pepsionice
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To: ADemocratNoMore; advertising guy; aft_lizard; AJMaXx; Alice in Wonderland; american colleen; ...

HDTV pings!

Interested in the HDTV ping list?
Please Freepmail me (freepmail works best) if you would like your name added to the HDTV ping list,
(approximately 375+ freepers are currently on the HDTV ping list).
The pinged subjects can be HDTV technology, satellite, cable, OTA HD reception (Over The Air with roof top or indoor antennas), Broadcast specials, Sports, Blu Ray/HDDVD, and any and all subjects relating to HDTV.

Note: if you search Freerepublic using the keyword HDTV, you will find most of the past HDTV postings.

LasVegasDave.


5 posted on 02/28/2013 2:29:28 AM PST by Las Vegas Dave
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To: pepsionice
I dumped DISH for the same reason, mostly trash for over $100/mth.

Stayed with basic cable and get dozens of channels for approximately $35/mth., and our house is wired for cable in almost every room.

6 posted on 02/28/2013 2:39:04 AM PST by Las Vegas Dave
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To: Las Vegas Dave
MTV would not exist if people had a choice as to whether to pay for it or not. Right now, there is no choice. It is part of a "package," so they get income because of subscribers.

Congress needs to pass a law allowing for customers to select and pay for only the programs they want to watch.

7 posted on 02/28/2013 2:47:29 AM PST by Cowboy Bob (Soon the "invisible hand" will press the economic "reset" button.)
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To: Cowboy Bob

“Congress needs to pass a law allowing for customers to select and pay for only the programs they want to watch.”

Yes, and also they need a law that you should be able to order lobster chowder, and only get lobster, no potatoes, for the same price. And don’t get me started on chocolate chip cookies with all that dough between the chips! All those bastards should be made to sell me what I want, for the price I want to pay!


8 posted on 02/28/2013 2:58:42 AM PST by Born to Conserve
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To: pepsionice

Sounds like you have the same package I have.

Its wildly overpriced with at least 5 home shopping channels, multiple duplicate network stations, Golf channel, multiple PBS stations, DISC and TLC have fallen into near complete worthlessness. I don’t watch any of the music channels.

I like to watch baseball so I’ve gotta have my FOX sports Detroit and ESPN. I watch BBC America a lot, I like some syfy, Hist and Hist2, I would also keep the 3 CSPAN channels.

The $72 per month that they charge is ridiculous when I’m watching $10 or $15 dollars worth.


9 posted on 02/28/2013 3:53:06 AM PST by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: Cowboy Bob
Congress needs to pass a law allowing for customers to select and pay for only the programs they want to watch.

I wish congress didn't have to be involved but it wouldn't surprise me if congress had something to do with subsidizing all the junk mail channels.
10 posted on 02/28/2013 4:10:47 AM PST by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: Las Vegas Dave

My cabl;e channle could remove about half the channels they carry and not effect me a little bit, MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon , BET, CNN and MSNBC especially.


11 posted on 02/28/2013 4:36:21 AM PST by Venturer
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To: Las Vegas Dave
So Cablevision wants to buy programming ala carte but wouldn't dream of letting its customers buy each channel individually? Cry me a river you hypocrites.
12 posted on 02/28/2013 5:15:54 AM PST by KarlInOhio (Choose one: the yellow and black flag of the Tea Party or the white flag of the Republican Party.)
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To: Born to Conserve

Lobster chowder without the potatoes is called “lobster.” It is available for purchase in the stores. Chocolate chip cookies without the dough is also available - they are called “chocolate chips.” They are generally made by Nestles and sold under the brand name Toll House. They are available in most supermarkets.

See, YOU are able to buy what you want - chocolate chips without the dough and lobster without the potatoes. BUT, I am forced to pay for my MTV even though I don’t want it.


13 posted on 02/28/2013 5:36:35 AM PST by Cowboy Bob (Soon the "invisible hand" will press the economic "reset" button.)
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To: cripplecreek
"I wish congress didn't have to be involved but it wouldn't surprise me if congress had something to do with subsidizing all the junk mail channels."

Well I know one thing Congress set in stone that needs changed that deals with TV.

I live in Ohio yet I am forced to use West Virginia Stations for our local channels. Now with Cable I can get Ohio Channels BUT they aren't in HD and they won't let me have them in HD even if I want to pay more for HD. Why because of stupid FCC regs that were written almost 90 years ago.

Its beyond stupid. And if I have Sat TV I can't even get the Ohio Channels because Sat TV gets fined if they allow me to pay for them.

14 posted on 02/28/2013 7:44:25 AM PST by Mad Dawgg (If you're going to deny my 1st Amendment rights then I must proceed to the 2nd one...)
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To: Las Vegas Dave
I know you guys have all heard this before, but I'm going to remind you again: when you pay for cable, or dish, or whatever, you are putting money in the pockets of the people who hate you, hate your country, and hate everything you stand for. I have no doubt that channels like MTV are forced on every cable subscriber because it is a good conduit for left-wing propaganda geared toward kids.

If you guys just got to have your shows and are willing to take the time to research it and learn, the internet provides a number of ways to get those shows without paying anything. And the downloading of recorded broadcast TV does not violate copyright laws (plenty of other stuff does, though).
15 posted on 02/28/2013 7:47:00 AM PST by fr_freak
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To: Born to Conserve
“Congress needs to pass a law allowing for customers to select and pay for only the programs they want to watch.”

Yes, and also they need a law that you should be able to order lobster chowder, and only get lobster, no potatoes, for the same price. And don’t get me started on chocolate chip cookies with all that dough between the chips! All those bastards should be made to sell me what I want, for the price I want to pay!

I have a very good friend who owns a cable TV/Internet company here in SW Colorado. My wife is his office manager. He and she can tell you the nightmare of offering such packages. The book keeping alone would be horrendous. Prices would definitely go up for all.

FMCDH(BITS)

16 posted on 02/28/2013 8:06:39 AM PST by nothingnew (I fear for my Republic due to marxist influence in our government. Open eyes/see)
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To: Born to Conserve
“Congress needs to pass a law allowing for customers to select and pay for only the programs they want to watch.”

Yes, and also they need a law that you should be able to order lobster chowder, and only get lobster, no potatoes, for the same price. And don’t get me started on chocolate chip cookies with all that dough between the chips! All those bastards should be made to sell me what I want, for the price I want to pay!

I understand your sarcasm and I agree.

I have a very good friend who owns a cable TV/Internet company here in SW Colorado. My wife is his office manager. He and she can tell you the nightmare of offering such packages. The book keeping alone would be horrendous. Prices would definitely go up for all.

FMCDH(BITS)

17 posted on 02/28/2013 8:07:58 AM PST by nothingnew (I fear for my Republic due to marxist influence in our government. Open eyes/see)
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To: KarlInOhio

Actually if they can manage to buy them a la carte they’ll probably sell them that way. The reason they don’t sell them that way is they can’t buy them that way. They have to pay the cable networks based on packages, selling them to you that way is really just passing costs on.


18 posted on 02/28/2013 8:15:57 AM PST by discostu (Not just another moon faced assassin of joy.)
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To: pepsionice
This is an interesting topic. I have a Comcast package....of around 120 channels. To be honest...all I really need are the four local stations, and around a dozen cable channels (History Channel I/II, Discovery, Fox News, Business Channel, FX, AMC, TNT, TBS, A&E, TMC, TV Land, and ESPN).
The rest are all garbage.

With DISH, I'm paying $99 per month for 10 channels we watch, and it's mainly the wife who watches them. I am really getting resentful of paying for stuff I don't need. If it weren't for the wife, I'd dump DISH entirely. The only channel I watch is TCM, but I have so many classic movies on DVD and Blu-ray that I could easily stand to lose it.

My wife is starting to come around. She has always liked HGTV and DIY; but HGTV has pretty much eliminated all the shows on gardening, and both channels feature as many in-your-face gay couples as possible.

19 posted on 02/28/2013 8:53:25 AM PST by Sans-Culotte ( Pray for Obama- Psalm 109:8)
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To: Mad Dawgg
I live in Ohio yet I am forced to use West Virginia Stations for our local channels. Now with Cable I can get Ohio Channels BUT they aren't in HD and they won't let me have them in HD even if I want to pay more for HD. Why because of stupid FCC regs that were written almost 90 years ago.

Its beyond stupid. And if I have Sat TV I can't even get the Ohio Channels because Sat TV gets fined if they allow me to pay for them.


Although HD does not mean that much to me right now, you're talking to a guy who still uses a 1982 Zenith from the time it was new and I have a 1970 Zenith and 1969 Sony. B-) I see your point though, you must live in a rural area like my best friend does. Do you live near Wheeling, WV, he does, in Tiltonsville, OH and the main broadcast stations that serve the area are WTOV 9 from Steubenville, OH and WTRF 7 from Wheeling. WTRF carried Fox and ABC in SD, they are CBS and WTOV carries MeTV in SD, they are NBC. If they are lucky, they can get some Pittsburgh stations too. I can receive them in Pittsburgh too using my old rabbit ears fro 1959. B-) ABC has always been hard to receive here in Pittsburgh although with the transition to digital, it is a bit easier to bring it in.

Back to topic, I like the idea of ala carte cable long with the ability to receive any out of town TV stations if they make their signal available.
20 posted on 02/28/2013 10:31:28 AM PST by Nowhere Man (Whitey, I miss you so much. Take care, pretty girl. (4-15-2001 - 10-12-2012))
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To: Las Vegas Dave
"The aggressive stance taken by large media conglomerates leaves less room and money to go around for independent, vibrant programmers that serve smaller, but passionate audiences that love and want the family-friendly programming offered on GMC and Aspire," GMC Vice Chairman Brad Siegel. "

Just think of all the people who want to get Al Gore’s network ‘Current TV’ but can’t.

That’s satire incase you were wondering.

21 posted on 03/01/2013 3:16:59 AM PST by Pontiac (The welfare state must fail because it is contrary to human nature and diminishes the human spirit.)
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