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MPVD Subs Initiate Class-Action Suit Against Time Warner Cable's RSNs

Lawsuit Targets Lakers, Dodgers Channels 6/20/2013 10:23 AM Eastern

Time Warner Cable’s regional sports networks in Los Angeles are at the center of a class-action suit filed by four MPVD subscribers in the market.

Subscribers to Time Warner Cable, Charter, DirecTV and Verizon FiOS filed a class-action Los Angeles Superior Court against the MSO, the Los Angeles Lakers and Dodgers. The four plaintiffs allege that the $3 billion that Time Warner Cable is paying for Lakers rights that has launched a  pair of team-centric RSNs is already causing subscribers to pay an extra $4 a month. Additionally, the aver their pay-TV bill will jump another $4 to $5 month, when SportsNet LA, the new Dodgers service, bows next year.

The lawsuit cites studies that show that 60% of the overall population are not sports fans, and that “left to their own, they would not subscribe to pay for Lakers telecasts.” Moreover, the plaintiffs maintain that “a very large segment of the consumer public is not sufficiently interested in Dodgers games to pay $50 to $60 a year.”

As such, the plaintiffs, who receive the Lakers games and will likely get the Dodgers contests via their pay-TV bundle on an expanded basic level of service, want to be allowed to opt out of paying to watch Dodgers and Lakers games since they aren't sports fans. They are also seeking restitution and injunctive relief from what they describe as illegal behavior of the MSO and the clubs.

Time Warner Cable Sports declined comment on the lawsuit and its legal response.

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