Fellow cable operator Mediacom issued a statement of support Wednesday for Cablevision’s suit against Viacom that charges the programming giant with forcing it to carry less-popular channels to gain rights to flagship networks.
Mediacom said it had not seen the suit, so could not comment on details, but has fought for years to do away with bundling.
The company said that the practice has led to cable and satellite operators raising prices at a level that “far exceeds inflation.” The inability to offer channels a la carte, Mediacom said, “has driven the cost of the basic package up to a point where it has become unaffordable for more and more Americans.”
Don’t cable operators make more money when they raise prices? Mediacom says no – that it sends “virtually every penny of the increase” to programmers.
Mediacom under CEO Rocco Commisso says it has tried to persuade the FCC and federal lawmakers to get more involved in issues of rising cable costs and hopes the Cablevision suit leads to “a positive outcome for consumers.”
Mediacom operates in 22 states in many smaller markets, such as Des Moines, Springfield, Mo. and Gulf Breeze, Fla.