Looks like CBS and Time Warner are heading into battle against one another. Time Warner Cable will have to face all of the customer complaints in court after the blackout that took place on August 2nd.
According to the Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel, a huge group of Time Warner Cable have filed a class action lawsuit against the cable provider on August 8th for dropping WTMJ-TV from the cable lineup.
WTMJ-TV is based out of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It is owned by the Journal Broadcast Group and is an NBC affiliate (though not owned by NBC Universal). Time Warner decided to remove WTMJ-TV from their programming on July 25th. This caused much outrage among their customers. The cable provider dropped the channel due to a contract dispute.
When Entertainment Weekly tried to contact Time Warner Cable, they unsurprisingly declined to comment.
According to the court documents, the plaintiffs Steve Delonge, Paul Scoptur, and Stephen Raymonds, are currently seeking class action status on behalf of Time Warner Cable subscribers in the state of Wisconsin.
They claim that the removal of WTMJ-TV is considered a breach of contract the cable provider and the subscriber. The plaintiffs are looking to get a credit for one day of video programming for each day that the service interruption has lasted more than four hours.
WTMJ-TV is one of six broadcast groups that has been blacked out by Time Warner Cable.
Jim Prather, executive vice-president of the Journal Broadcast Group, said: “We are seeking fair market compensation for our signals in those markets. This is the first time in Journal Broadcast Group history that we’ve ever come off a cable or satellite provider.”
This lawsuit is just one of many developments that’s been happening since Time Warner Cable blacked out all of CBS’s stations in many major cities across the United States. These cities include New York, Los Angeles, and Dallas who have been without the channel since August 2nd due to a contract dispute.
Along with everything else that is going on, CBS has claimed that the blackout from Time Warner Cable has had little to almost no effect on ratings. The network has stated that it’s ratings are only down by .2% in viewers. They have seen a change in it’s adults 18-49 performance ever since Time Warner Cable pulled the plug on the network back on August 2nd.
The network decided to compare its performance to how it was doing in the week before. Now, when compared to the same week last summer, CBS’s Friday-Thursday primetime programs during the blackout actually went up to 38% in terms of viewers. It saw a 33% rise in both adults 18-49 and 25-54, according to the Nielsen results.
Time Warner put its customers through hell by blacking out stations that reached around 3.2 million of its customers in New York, Los Angeles and Dallas.
CBS has said that the overall financial hit is negligible for now, since August is usually a typically low rated month. The FCC acting chairwoman Mignon Clyburn said that she was not happy with how the two parties have failed to reach a deal. She is planning to intervene if things get any uglier.
Clyburn said, “I’m really distressed that consumers and viewers are being adversely affected and my primary concern remains with them. We will continue to urge both parties to stay and resolve in good faith this issue as soon as possible.”