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Today, Cablevision filed an antitrust lawsuit against Viacom, alleging that Viacom breaks antitrust laws when it forces Cablevision, and its' subscribers, to pay for unpopular channels to gain access to popular content like MTV and Comedy Central.
The following can be attributed to John Bergmayer, Senior Staff Attorney at Public Knowledge:
"Cable subscribers are often dismayed that they have to subscribe to an expensive bundle of hundreds of channels just to get access to the few they want. Many subscribers may not realize that large media conglomerates such as Viacom often force cable companies to include unpopular channels in subscriber bundles and to pay for them.
"To be sure, there's a lot of blame to go around when it comes to high cable prices, Cable companies themselves benefit from an uncompetitive market that allows them to pass along costs to consumers and keep prices high. Broadcasters also have rules that force cable subscribers to subsidize them.
"It's hard to predict exactly how an antitrust suit like this will turn out, but hopefully it will at least shed light on industry practices that harm consumers."