The National Football League’s New York Jets filed an antitrust suit against Cablevision Systems Corp. Wednesday, alleging that Cablevision is using ownership of cable systems, Madison Square Garden and Radio City Music Hall to thwart its attempt to build a stadium on Manhattan’s West Side.
“They [Cablevision] are using one monopoly to protect the other,” Jets attorney David Boies said at a press conference announcing the suit, in which the team may seek at least $100 million in damages.
Cablevision has spent $50 million on a “misleading” ad campaign that thrashes the Jets’ stadium proposal, and the operator has refused to allow the Jets to run local adverting supporting the stadium on networks such as Cable News Network, Fox News Channel and Cablevision-owned MSG Network and FSN New York, the Jets said.
The club also argued in the lawsuit that Cablevision has pressured other New York media outlets against running ads supporting construction of the stadium.
Cablevision has submitted a competing offer to build residential buildings on the proposed stadium site, which the Jets argued is “a sham bid.”
Boies has sparred with Cablevision in the past. The attorney -- who won an antitrust verdict for the U.S. government against Microsoft Corp. -- also represented Yankees Entertainment & Sports Network in an antitrust suit it filed against Cablevision in 2002, when the MSO refused to carry YES.
Cablevision officials didn’t immediately return a phone call Wednesday morning.