BREAKING: Three LA-area plaintiffs have filed a class action complaint on behalf of paying Time Warner Cable subscribers in California over the cable provider’s ongoing blackout of CBS, Showtime, Movie Channel, and KCAL channels. Those networks have been blocked by TWC since its negotiations with CBS fell apart on August 2. In a complaint filed today in Los Angeles Superior Court (read it here), TWC customers James Armstrong, Michael Pourtemour, and Vatsana Bilavarn seek subscription fees and charge reimbursements on behalf of potentially several millions of fellow TWC subscribers for monthly subscription fees TWC charged during its continuing CBS/Showtime blackout. The company said after talks broke off early this month that it would offer a credit to subscribers for Showtime and TMC — though not the over-the-air stations — but apparently has yet to do so. The plaintiffs argue that they would not have subscribed to TWC for broadcast and Internet services had they known that channels promised in the provider’s packaging would not be offered, citing Showtime’s critically acclaimed shows Dexter and Ray Donovan and CBS programs including Big Brother, NFL football, and the PGA Championship as desired deal-breakers used in TWC marketing to incentivize subscriptions.
Plaintiffs also argue that no notice was given on or before the August 2 blackout and credits have not been offered by TWC since the blackout began. And because the company continued to sell subscriptions in recent months touting its full pre-blackout cable offerings, the suit alleges TWC is in violation of biz statutes forbidding “any unlawful, unfair, or fraudulent business practices” and that TWC’s treatment of its customers is “immoral, unethical, unscrupulous, oppressive, and substantially injurious.” Claiming unjust enrichment, breach of contract and more, the plaintiffs are demanding a jury trial. They are represented by Daniel Weintraub, James Selth, Blake Lindemann and Elaine Nguyen of Weintraub & Selth in LA.