Time Warner Cable subscribers file lawsuit over CBS blackout

By Daniel S Levine,

As the blackout of CBS networks by Time Warner Cable nears the end of its second week, a group of Southern California subscribers have filed a class-action lawsuit against TWC. The subscribers are seeking refunds of what they’ve paid for CBS’ KCAL, Showtime and The Movie Channel, which have been blocked.

The blackout began on Friday, Aug. 2 and has left over 3 million TWC subscribers in major markets like New York, Los Angeles and Dallas without CBS networks, including the local CBS-owned stations. The two sides have been going back and forth ever since, but they appear to be no closer to solving the dispute over retransmission fees.

Now, Variety is reporting that TWC is facing a class-action lawsuit from subscribers in the Southern California market, which was filed by Wednesday. TWC’s “inter-contractual disputes with content providers is not something that should be passed on to consumers,” the suit claims.

The suit was filed in Superior Court of California for the County of Los Angeles with James Armstrong, Michael Pourtemour and Vatsana Bilavarn named as plaintiffs.

““The courtesy replacement programming is not a reasonable substitute for programing blacked out, as it does not include a fungible offering of programs relative to CBS and Showtime,” the group said, notes THR.

TWC didn’t comment, but back on Aug. 2, they did say that credits for Showtime subscribers would be available. But TWC said that they wouldn’t give credit for the loss of all CBS networks “because the whole package continues to provide value,” notes Variety.

The plaintiffs did mention the Showtime credits, but noted that TWC hasn’t set a date for when they would be reimbursed.

image: CBS' 'Under The Dome'/CBS

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