Court Denies Viacom’s Motion to Dismiss Cablevision Antitrust Suit

A federal district court denied Viacom’s request to dismiss a suit by Cablevision Systems that charges the programmer with antitrust violations over the way it bundles its cable networks.

In the suit, filed in February 2013, Cablevision alleged that Viacom was forcing it to carry and pay for 14 low-rated networks in order to carry popular channels like Nickelodeon, MTV and Comedy Central. The cable operator also said Viacom is unlawfully blockbooking in the way it sells its channels.

“We are gratified the court has ruled that Cablevision has stated a valid antitrust claim against Viacom for illegal channel tying,” the Bethpage, N.Y.-based MSO said in a statement. “We continue to believe that Viacom’s tying of its popular networks to carriage of its lesser-watched ancillary networks is illegal, anti-consumer, and wrong. We look forward to further pressing our case at the next stage of the proceeding.”

The ruling was made by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.