The latest wrinkle in the nasty fight between Fox and Cablevision over retransmission fees: a viewer-led lawsuit.
A group of New York Cablevision customers have filed a class action lawsuit in federal court, claiming Cablevision owes them roughly $450 million for depriving its 3 million New York-area subscribers of Fox’s content, including the “Glee,” the Major League Baseball playoffs and NFL football.
Click here to read a copy of the complaint. As you’ll see, these are customers who have clearly sided with Fox in the fight.
Cablevision quickly responded with a statement, arguing that Fox is really the company deserving of a suit.
"News Corp. is the company that deserves a lawsuit, for blacking out the World Series in three million New York-area homes,” Cablevision said in a statement. “The FCC has all the facts and our customers are demanding that the FCC act to end the FOX blackout."
The suit, filed by New York area customers Julia Gallo, Andrew Koplik and Dorothy Rabsey in the U.S. Southern District Court of New York this week, alleges customers “have suffered a substantial and material reduction in the broadcast service” they signed up for.
They’re seeking “restitution for Cablevision's 3 million customers, who have been deprived of the Fox Channels, which have been replaced by Cablevision’s annoying and self-serving loop, which whines about News Corp.’s supposed failure to negotiate in good faith.”
The plaintiffs also argue that Fox also “provide(s) a distinctive viewpoint in the political speech arena, which Cablevision customers are being deprived of just days before a critical mid-term election in the United States.”
The $450 million figure is based on the $150 average Cablevision’s 3 million customers pay per month, according to the filing.
The suit comes just as Cablevision announced that it will reimburse customers who sign up with MLB.com to watch the World Series online.