Judge Won't Dismiss YES Suit
A United States District Court judge Wednesday cleared the way for Yankees
Entertainment & Sports Network's antitrust lawsuit against Cablevision
Systems Corp. to proceed after denying the MSO's motion to dismiss the suit.
Southern District Judge Deborah Batts upheld YES' claims of Sherman Act
federal antitrust violations against the MSO with regard to Cablevision's
alleged monopolization of New York-area regional sports networks and programming
YES alleged that Cablevision refuses to offer the upstart regional sports
network -- which airs 130 New York Yankees Major League Baseball games -- to its
nearly 3 million subscribers in order to protect its owned-and-operated sports
services, Madison Square Garden Network and Fox Sports New York.
The court did strike down YES' claim that Cablevision violated state
antitrust laws under the Donnelly Act.
YES has until Sept. 24 to revise its filing to the court. Cablevision then
has 20 days to respond to the new filing.
YES chairman Leo J. Hindery Jr. said in a prepared statement that he was
'delighted that the court has allowed YES to proceed on all of its federal
antitrust claims against Cablevision.'
Cablevision, meanwhile, continued to proclaim that the lawsuit is 'entirely
without merit,' and added that it was 'encouraged that the judge dismissed a
portion of the case in today's procedural ruling and instructed YES to clarify
its claims by filing a revised complaint.'
Both sides however, intimated that they would rather see the dispute settled
at the negotiating table rather than in a courtroom.
'We hope that today's decision might spur Cablevision to finally negotiate in
good faith with YES, rather than requiring a continuation of the litigation,'
'While we believe the ultimate resolution will be in Cablevision's favor, we
also believe the best way to resolve this matter is through negotiation, not
litigation,' added the MSO.
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R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.