Last month, a lawsuit was filed by Cablevision against Viacom. At the time it was sealed, but now has been made public, with some interesting information revealed.
The suit claims that Viacom does an illegal "per se" tying arrangement, where it bundles "must-have" networks like Comedy Central, MTV and Nickelodeon with lesser-viewed ones such as Palladia, VH1 Classic and MTV Hits.
However, why would Cablevision file this lawsuit a few months after signing a carriage deal with Viacom? The two companies signed the deal last December. Seems like a short time for a marriage to sour, unless you are a Kardashian. If they did not like the setup, they could have always, I dunno, NOT SIGNED THE DEAL.
"Viacom's coercive tactics left Cablevision with only one viable economic choice: to accept a deal under which Cablevision would continue to carry both the Core Networks (which Cablevision wants to distribute) and the Suite Networks (which Cablevision wishes to replace with alternative networks). Cablevision accordingly surrendered...," claimed Cablevision in the suit. Then why did they sign the deal?
Of course, Viacom sees it differently. Viacom CEO Phillippe Dauman said last week that Cablevision actually got a discount for carrying "lesser" networks.
"I guess their theory is: 'We got the discount. We got three suits for the price of two. Now we want just the two,'" he said. "That doesn't happen in our business."