Cablevision said it filed an antitrust lawsuit Tues against Viacom, claiming the programmer illegally forces it to carry and pay for lesser-watched nets that its customers don’t want in order to have “must-have” channels such as Nick, MTV and Comedy Central. The 14 nets it identified as less popular are Palladia, Centric, CMT, MTV Tr3s, Nick Jr, Nicktoons, Teen Nick, VH1 Soul, Logo, CMT Pure Country, Nick 2, MTV Jams, MTV Hits and VH1 Classic.
The suit was filed under seal and a public version was not immediately available. Viacom could not be reached immediately for comment.
Cablevision and Viacom reached a carriage agreement in Dec that kept the MSO from losing any channels. Cablevision is seeking declaratory relief voiding that agreement as well as a permanent injunction barring Viacom from conditioning carriage of any or all of its core nets to the nets it identified as ancillary.
More in tonight’s CableFAX Daily.