“Fans are being held hostage”

by Walter Olson on December 31, 2009

Orlando lawyer John Morgan concedes he doesn’t know which side has the better side in a contractual standoff between Fox and a local cable distributor (“For all I know, Fox may be right.”) but says he intends to file a lawsuit to force the showing of the Sugar Bowl to Florida viewers. [Hal Boedeker, Orlando Sentinel, WBDO]

{ 7 comments }

1 Doug 12.31.09 at 8:24 am

Good luck with that. Once again, we have too many lawyers and too many law schools.

2 Benjamin 12.31.09 at 10:18 am

Just put up an antenna and watch it for free.

3 gitarcarver 12.31.09 at 10:19 am

From the Florida Today website: http://tinyurl.com/y98j2t6

Orlando law firm Morgan & Morgan filed a lawsuit Wednesday on behalf of two television viewers seeking an injunction to ensure that the Fox broadcast of the Sugar Bowl contest remains on Bright House.

The suit said there is a tremendous public interest in the contest because it will be quarterback Tim Tebow’s last game for the Gators.

“Fox’s imposition of this arbitrary deadline is an unconscionable and unfair act in the conduct of business that also violates Fox’s statutory duty as an FCC licensee to broadcast in the public interest,” the law firm said in a statement. “Innocent Florida consumers will be the only real losers in what appears to be a game of high stakes poker between these companies.”

Circuit Judge Maura Smith in Orlando did not immediately rule, saying she would first let a federal judge decide if a federal court has jurisdiction over the case.

4 E-Bell 12.31.09 at 10:33 am

I’m torn. On the one hand, I don’t really like John Morgan, for reasons I won’t go into here. On the other hand, I am a huge fan of the Florida Gators and I can sympathize with the Orlando fans’ dilemma.

5 MF 12.31.09 at 5:19 pm

Just put up an antenna and watch it for free.

Doesn’t work for those of us out of range of a TV signal. Not that I believe there is any merit to this lawsuit, nor do I believe there should be any pressure from either direction on settling the negotiations between cable vendor and network. The network is free to charge as much as they want, and the vendor is free to refuse to pay, and bear the wrath of its subscribers. If FOX started trying to charge a very high rate to each of the other cable and satellite providers and they all balked, FOX would probably go out of business. And they should be free to do that as well.

We may run into the same issues when the other networks also want to be paid a large fee per subscriber when their current contracts expire.

6 gitarcarver 12.31.09 at 8:26 pm

From the Florida Today website: http://tinyurl.com/y9z6l7s

Judge denies motion to force Fox to air Sugar Bowl

ORLANDO — A Florida judge denied a request for an injunction today from two football fans hoping to make sure the Sugar Bowl game between Florida and Cincinnati will be seen on cable television.

Circuit Judge Maura Smith refused to issue an injunction that would have stopped Fox from halting programming at midnight on Bright House’s cable system as a result of a contract dispute.

7 mojo 01.04.10 at 12:35 pm

Well, I think there ought to be a lawsuit to make them put the two worst teams together in the “Toilet Bowl”…

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