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Tue Feb 26, 2013, 04:16 PM

A la Carte Wars: Cablevision Sues Viacom for Bundling

Source: Ad Week

In an apparent bid to set a legal precedent, Cablevision on Tuesday announced that it has filed a lawsuit against Viacom for "bundling," the practice by which programmers force distributors to carry low-rated channels as a condition of carrying their more popular networks.

"The manner in which Viacom sells its programming is illegal, anti-consumer, and wrong," Cablevision charged in a statement, adding that the parent company of MTV and Nickelodoen "effectively forces Cablevision's customers to pay for and receive little-watched channels in order to get the channels they actually want."

Among the smaller networks named in the complaint are Palladia, MTV Hits and VH1 Classic. The latter channel closed out 2012 as the third least-watched outlet on the cable dial, averaging a mere 24,000 viewers in total day. Palladia and MTV Hits are not sufficiently distributed to be officially rated by Nielsen.

According to Cablevision, Viacom forces it to carry 14 low-rated channels in return for the rights to carry franchise networks such as MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, VH1 and BET. Most of the outlets in question are spinoffs (MTV Jams, Nicktoons, etc.).


Read more: http://www.adweek.com/news/television/la-carte-wars-cablevision-sues-viacom-bundling-147565



Before getting excited about the prospects of a-la-carte programming, keep in mind that your [referred channel may be one of the "low-rated" ones: Al-Jazeera say, or the late Current TV. Add to that, if the production companies can't make their money selling 20 channels, 5 of which are popular, they may bundle their costs into the 5, meaning you're still paying a lot for cable, and not getting as much.

11 replies, 1754 views

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Arrow 11 replies Author Time Post
Reply A la Carte Wars: Cablevision Sues Viacom for Bundling (Original post)
brooklynite Feb 2013 OP
Javaman Feb 2013 #1
brooklynite Feb 2013 #2
Javaman Feb 2013 #7
cstanleytech Feb 2013 #10
Mopar151 Feb 2013 #3
guyton Feb 2013 #4
louis-t Feb 2013 #5
meegbear Feb 2013 #6
NewYorkTaxPayer Feb 2013 #8
KoKo Feb 2013 #9
ChazInAz Feb 2013 #11

Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 04:22 PM

1. somehow I don't think cablevision is really looking out for the consumer on this...

call me crazy.

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Response to Javaman (Reply #1)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 04:27 PM

2. Looking out for? No.

...but that doesn't mean they want to try and sell something that their customers don't want to buy.

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Response to brooklynite (Reply #2)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 04:39 PM

7. I used to work for them.

The things I've seen...

I can bet you right at this moment, they are trying to figure out a way to make this work for them and still call it A la carte.

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Response to Javaman (Reply #1)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 06:33 PM

10. Actually telecom companies can be trusted to look after the consumer.

Look at how prices have dropped throughout the industry and consumer satisfaction has risen as the varies companies have consolidated.

Oh an btw, does anyone want to buy a bridge I own in San Fransico? It has a truly beautiful view of the bay.

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 04:27 PM

3. How do we stop paying for shopping and begging (religious) channels? n/t

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 04:29 PM

4. it's probably backwards, but ...

The idea of none of my $$$ going to Fox just seems really nice right now. Even it if means some of my favorite low-rated channels go bust.

Actually, come to think of it, other than BBC America (Dr Who!) and MSNBC I think the whole thing could go dark and I wouldn't notice. I've started to notice my entire family is online in the evenings instead of watching TV as much.

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 04:30 PM

5. Love Palladia. Dish gave it to me free for a while.

I DVRed everything I could. They took it away and never offered it again.

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 04:37 PM

6. I remember a few years ago, some religious groups wanted something like this ...

They wanted cable/satellite companies to offer a default "family" package that would be local channels and affiliates, some basic cable channels and all religious channels. The rest would be a-la carte.

They petitioned the FCC about it and the FCC said that if it was instated, their religious channels would also be a-la carte. They dropped the petition.

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 05:19 PM

8. One word:

 

Roku

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Response to NewYorkTaxPayer (Reply #8)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 05:53 PM

9. yep....not for all ....but if you don't want fluff and commercials

and like international news and movies documentaries and CNN International over CNN US..plus network and stuff.

Not for everyone...but, it beats Cable for many of us who have "selective" interests.

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 09:23 PM

11. I gave up

After getting a $211 cable bill, I cancelled my subscription after a month. I'll miss Ms. Maddow, The Doctor and Game of Thrones, but the other crap isn't worth it.

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