Could Cablevision’s Lawsuit Against Viacom Unbundle TV Channels?

CablevisionCablevision has announced a lawsuit against Viacom, pitting the cable provider against the content company, alleging illegal antitrust infringements. The gist of the suit is that Cablevision is suing Viacom for, in its view, forcing it to carry fringe channels along with its more popular content. Cablevision states in its release that it was “coerced” to do so at the threat of “massive financial penalties.” This leads to, Cablevision goes on to state, “[impaired] competition by making Cablevision pay for and carry networks that many subscribers do not want to watch.” The suit, if it does eventually wind through the courts, and Cablevision wins, could lead to the unbundling of cable channels. This would be a tectonic shift in the economics of cable television, allowing for unprecedented consumer flexibility, and financial hardship at channels that simply can’t hack it on their own.

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Shelly Palmer

Shelly Palmer is Fox 5 New York's On-air Tech Expert (WNYW-TV) and the host of Fox Television's monthly show Shelly Palmer Digital Living. He also hosts United Stations Radio Network's, Shelly Palmer Digital Living Daily, a daily syndicated radio report that features insightful commentary and a unique insiders take on the biggest stories in technology, media, and entertainment. He is Managing Director of Advanced Media Ventures Group, LLC an industry-leading advisory and business development firm and a member of the Executive Committee of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (the organization that bestows the coveted Emmy® Awards).

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