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Networks Sue Over Truck-Stop TV

Various cable and broadcast networks have sued the Flying J truck stop chain for substituting its own commercials for network ads in the common areas of its truck stops, service it sells to advertisers as Plaza TV.

The case was filed last month, and was not widely publicized, in part because it is apparently not seen as a particularly huge deal, either to the networks or the advertising community.

That doesn't mean it's not important in the sense of protecting copyrighted material, but rather that it is not seen as much of a threat to the TV ad base, at least according to legal and ad community sources. If so, the theory goes, the networks would have been more public about filing the suit back in April.

Companies often file suits against even small threats to their brands or business models to make sure they don't become larger ones.

The plaintiffs, which include ABC, CBS, Fox, and Turner, want the court to permanently enjoin the Flying J from replacing their ads with ones for trucker magazines and the like, as well as seeking unspecified damages and attorneys fees.

Among the shows whose ads were replaced, according to the complaint, were ER, Law & Order, Charmed and CNN.