Comcast and a coalition of cable companies scored a win in Maine, with a judge granting an injunction against a law that would require cable companies to offer à la carte services.
According to Ars Technica, Maine passed the first law of its type in the nation, requiring cable TV companies to offer à la carte options. Comcast and a host of companies challenged the law in court, while also trying to get an injunction until the case could be decided.
In ruling on the injunction, District Judge Nancy Torresen said she would only grant the injunction if the plaintiffs had a reasonable chance of winning their argument on the legal merits. She concluded it was unlikely they would win based on two of their arguments, but the third stood a chance.
Specifically, one of the First Amendment arguments related to cable companies’ rights to bundle channels was deemed viable. “In short, they made the case that the Maine law violated their rights because it applied narrowly, to traditional cable carriers (MVPDs) but not to alternative, Internet-based platforms—such as Dish, Sling, Sony Vue, or YouTube TV—that also provide bundled content.”
With the cable industry recently suffering a legal blow limiting their ability to levy hidden fees and up-charges, this case shows the industry still has plenty of legal teeth—and doesn’t always use them for the benefit of their customers.