Court Rules That Pay TV's Nasty Habit Of Bundling Channels Is Legal

Pay TV companies make bundles by bundling channels together in subscription packages, forcing customers to pay inflated fees for packages that are stuffed with channels they don’t care about. The U.S. Court of Appeals could have done subscribers a solid by forcing cable and satellite companies to change their modus operandi, but it ruled that there’s nothing illegal about the exploitative practice, upholding a judgment in a lower court.

Deadline reports the suit, which went after companies including NBCUniversal, Viacom, Time Warner, Comcast and DirecTV, fell short because the complaint failed to show that pay TV companies violate antitrust laws. In the judges’ ruling, they noted that the plaintiffs showed that the practice is harmful, but not that it’s anticompetitive.

In related news, the Wall Street Journal reports the struggling Oprah Winfrey Network will be piping in to the homes of many more Comcast subscribers (subscription required).

Pay TV Bundles Are OK (Even If They Hurt Consumers), Court Rules [Deadlione]