this could hurt--if it plays out to--


Thread Starter
Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
Sep 30, 2003
Bergen co NJ
this from the WSJ--it could hurt CVC and VOOM big time in the end,but i doubt it will not get settled
The New York State Supreme Court ruled that Time Warner Inc.'s cable arm may drop Cablevision Systems Corp.'s AMC television channel from its channel lineup, handing Time Warner a major victory in a long-running legal battle.

The court agreed with Time Warner's contention that AMC, once known as American Movie Classics, had violated an agreement with Time Warner Cable by moving away from its focus on "classic" movies made before 1960 and instead airing movies made mostly in the past 30 years. Lately, AMC has been running movies such as "Smokey and the Bandit," "Flashdance" and the Rodney Dangerfield comedy "Easy Money."

If Time Warner doesn't drop the channel, it will have leverage to negotiate a more favorable distribution deal. Cable operators often bicker with TV channels over programming direction, but it is rare for such squabbles to land in court.

It remains to be seen if Time Warner's success in its battle with AMC will lead other cable and satellite distributors to take a harder line with programming services that change direction. Cable channels that have veered away from their original programming strategy include A&E, which has begun carrying reality shows, including "Growing Up Gotti" about Victoria Gotti, daughter of the late mob boss John Gotti. The Bravo channel, once known for its highbrow fare, has changed direction with reality shows such as "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" and "Being Bobby Brown," a reality program about the singer.

Time Warner is the country's second-biggest cable operator behind Comcast Corp., serving nearly 11 million households throughout the country. If it drops AMC, it would be a big blow to Cablevision's programming arm Rainbow Media, which directly owns the channel. Cablevision announced last month that it would spin off Rainbow into a separate, publicly traded company as part of a broader plan by the controlling Dolan family to take the cable operation private.

Time Warner Cable said it is "evaluating our relationship with the network going forward." A spokeswoman for Rainbow said the company will appeal the judgment.

During the legal battle, Time Warner estimated that in 1993, when its cable unit agreed to offer the channel on its systems, 91% of movies shown by AMC in prime time were made before 1960. By 2002, that number had dropped to only 5%, Time Warner alleged.

Rainbow made over AMC to attract a younger audience. Besides adding newer movies, it created original programming. Rainbow argued unsuccessfully that Time Warner's decision to renew carriage of AMC in 2000, after some of these changes had been made, was in effect a waiver to the content clause in its deal with the cable operator.

In its decision, the court ruled "it is obvious" that AMC portrayed itself in 1993 "as a classic film channel which showed almost exclusively classic films released prior to 1960." The court added that when the channel changed its strategy and added more recent films, it breached its contract with Time Warner Cable.


SatelliteGuys Guru
Jan 19, 2005
Sugar Land, Texas
I don't feel bad for Cablevision

I haven't watched AMC much since they made the change from "Classics" to the newer fare AND went to commerical breaks.

Thankfully there is still TCM and FMC.

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