Three Time Warner Cable customers sued the MSO 8/8 over its 7/25 decision last month to drop Journal Broadcast Group’s WTMJ-TV (NBC) from its lineup over the lack of a new carriage/retrans deal with the network.
Both companies have been running PR campaigns ever since trying to convince the public the other side is making unreasonable demands.
The lawsuit, filed in Milwaukee County Circuit Court, seeks class-action status on behalf of all Time Warner subscribers who no longer get WTMJ-TV on their service.
The named plaintiffs are Steven Delonge and Paul Scoptur of Wauwatosa, and Stephen Raymonds of Menomonee Falls. They are represented by Scoptur’s law firm, Aiken & Scoptur.
The suit seeks unspecified damages for breach of contract, and a day’s credit for each customer for every day service was interrupted more than four hours, under a state statute that addresses service interruption.
The suit indicates no individual plaintiff’s claim, including any prorated share of any punitive damages or attorney’s fees, will exceed $74,000.
Mike Hogan, speaking for Time Warner, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel the company had not yet seen the lawsuit and could not comment on the claims.
While the contract dispute between Time Warner and WTMJ wasn’t resolved by early Thursday evening, the two companies announced earlier in the day that the Green Bay Packers’ Friday night exhibition game against the Arizona Cardinals will be available to Time Warner customers on Telemundo, in Spanish.
RBR-TVBR observation: With all of the dropped networks of late and threats of dropping networks, TWC may find itself in legal hot water with subscribers in markets across the country soon—for partial billing refunds at the minimum. Is it really worth the legal fees? This all leads us to think again about a la carte models to solve these disputes. Is that what networks and MSOs want? Get ready.