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|Viacom/DirecTV Class Action Lawsuit Over Channel Blackout Could Be Filed|
- Thursday, 19 July 2012 12:01
Viacom/DirecTV Class Action Lawsuit Over Channel Blackout Could Be Filed
By Sarah Pierce
The Viacom/DirecTV dispute over subscriber fees has gotten ugly, but the real losers in the battle are millions of subscribers who lost access to 26 channels owned by Viacom, including popular channels like MTV, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, BET and VH1. Angry customers may pursue a class action lawsuit against DirecTV and/or Viacom for removing the channels, despite the fact they paid for the channels and signed up for the service with the belief that they would have access to them.
DirecTV blacked out the channels on July 11, 2012 because it could not reach an agreement with Viacom on subscriber fees before their seven-year deal expired. The company tried to defend the DirecTV channel blackout by saying it was protecting subscribers from Viacom, who “wants YOU to pay 30% more.”
According to the DirecTV blackout statement:
“DIRECTV is not willingly removing MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, Spike, or any other channels even though Viacom began telling viewers exactly that at approximately 11:24 p.m. EST last night. The truth is, only 5 minutes later, Viacom sent an express letter via courier to DIRECTV threatening legal action if DIRECTV did not comply with Viacom’s demand to turn off the channels. Viacom is forcing us to take down the channels, while publicly claiming they are against it.”
Viacom responded that its proposed increase totals “a couple pennies per day per subscriber,” and that it remains “hopeful that DirecTV will work with us toward a resolution, and stop denying its subscribers access to the networks they watch most.”
Viacom and DirecTV subscribers are unimpressed with the rigmarole about the channel blackout, however, and are angry they’re being punished for the companies’ inability to reach an agreement. Some are wondering if they can file a class action lawsuit against Viacom and/or DirecTV for breaking their customer agreements by removing their access to the channels.
Updated July 19th, 2012
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Last Updated on Thursday, 27 December 2012 11:09