A United States Southern District Court of New York judge Friday dismissed a
class-action suit brought against Cablevision Systems Corp. by several fans
demanding that the MSO add Yankees Entertainment & Sports Network.
In a 38-page decision released early Friday, Judge Thomas Platt said the
lawsuit -- which called for a mediator to solve the Cablevision/YES carriage
dispute -- failed to adequately present its position in legal terms that
Cablevision deliberately kept YES off its systems to protect its
owned-and-operated Madison Square Garden Network.
'For several reasons, the plaintiffs have improperly pled that Cablevision
and MSGN conspired to exclude YES from Cablevision's basic-tier programming,'
the judge said.
In a prepared statement, Cablevision said it 'applauds' the judge's decision
to dismiss the lawsuit, which, it added, 'was without merit.'
But YES attorney Alan Vickery said the judge's decision does not affect the
network's ongoing antitrust suit against Cablevision.
Vickery added that the two sides have met since the lawsuit was filed two
months ago, but they are not any closer to an agreement. He said the network is
willing to be 'flexible' with its current $2 rate card, but Cablevision also has
to be 'reasonable' with its negotiating stance.
Cablevision wants to offer YES as a pay or tiered service. The MSO, which has
3 million subscribers, offered to carry YES for 55 cents per subscriber, but YES
dismissed it, saying that it could not survive at that low price