Charter Communications said it plans to launch an over-the-top streaming video service at the end of March dubbed TV Essentials to its broadband-only customers without a video service, in the cable industry’s latest effort to recapture pay TV subscribers.
An appeals court has again denied Charter’s effort to dismiss the claim by Byron Allen’s Entertainment Studios that the cable operator’s “refusal” to enter into a carriage contract with the programmer was racially motivated. The case now proceeds to trial unless it is settled beforehand.
The new contract covers Tribune’s 42 television stations and cable network WGN America.
A federal appeals court cleared the way for Byron Allen’s Entertainment Studios Networks to pursue civil rights suits against two of the nation’s biggest cable operators, Charter Communications and Comcast. These lawsuits seek sizable damages — $20 billion against Comcast and $10 billion against Charter — for alleged violations of the Civil Rights Act.
Cable TV giant Charter Communications is launching a 24-hour local news channel in November that will be available in the 1.5 million homes in greater Los Angeles that receive the company’s Spectrum pay-TV service. The channel would be the first of its kind in L.A., representing a bold effort to challenge decades of dominance by such broadcast stations as KABC, KTLA and Spanish-language KMEX.
Charter President and CEO Tom Rutledge made it clear, amid another quarter of lost video subscribers, that his company’s video business was no longer built to go it alone. “We’re going to use video aggressively. But what we’re saying is, it really isn’t a standalone product in its current situation,” Rutledge said during Tuesday’s earnings call.
The three towns — Yuma, Ariz.; Jackson, Wyo.; and El Centro, Calif. — allege that Charter violated FCC regulations by failing to notify their customers 30 days in advance that they could lose local channels.
Siding against Charter, a New York state judge has refused to dismiss Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s lawsuit alleging that the company duped consumers by delivering broadband speeds that were slower than advertised.