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SOURCE Cablevision Systems Corporation
BETHPAGE, N.Y., Feb. 26, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Cablevision Systems Corporation (NYSE: CVC) filed an antitrust lawsuit today against Viacom (NYSE: VIA), in federal court in Manhattan, for illegally forcing Cablevision to carry and pay for 14 lesser-watched ancillary networks its customers do not want, such as Palladia, MTV Hits and VH1 Classic, in order to carry must-have networks such as Nickelodeon, MTV and Comedy Central.
Commenting on the lawsuit and Viacom, Cablevision offered the following statement:
"The manner in which Viacom sells its programming is illegal, anti-consumer, and wrong. 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's suit contends that:
Cablevision's complaint asserts that Viacom engaged in a "per se" illegal tying arrangement in violation of the federal antitrust laws. Cablevision's antitrust lawsuit also asserts that Viacom has engaged in unlawful "block booking," which is a form of tying that conditions the sale of a package of rights on the purchaser's taking of other rights. Viacom's conduct also violates the Donnelly Act in New York State Law, which parallels federal anti-trust laws.
The complaint was filed under seal and a public version is not yet available.
Cablevision is seeking a number of remedies including:
Viacom's eight core networks:
Viacom's 14 ancillary networks:
CMT Pure Country**
*Optimum East Only
**Optimum West Only
Antitrust Legal Background
Cablevision officials indicated that there would be no immediate disruption in programming offerings pending the resolution of this matter.
About Cablevision Systems Corporation
Cablevision Systems Corporation is one of the nation's leading media and telecommunications companies. In addition to delivering its Optimum-branded cable, Internet, and voice offerings throughout the New York area, the Company owns and operates cable systems serving homes in four Western states. Cablevision's local media properties include News 12 Networks, MSG Varsity and Newsday Media Group. Cablevision also owns and operates Clearview Cinemas. Additional information about Cablevision is available on the Web at www.cablevision.com
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