Town of Weston Wins Case Against Cablevision Over Rights to Community Access Programs
October 18, 2007
Bridgeport, CT, October 18, 2007 - Fairfield County scored a major victory for the rights of local access television producers when the Connecticut Department of Public Utility ruled that Cablevision does not have the right to restrict them from offering their programs to other cable and video distributors.
The Town of Weston had challenged Cablevision's claim that it could prohibit producers from making their productions available to other cable or video providers. Cablevision of Connecticut, L.P. provides cable television, or CATV, service to Weston and neighboring municipalities: Darien, Easton, Greenwich, New Canaan, Norwalk, Stamford, Westport and Wilton.
"The Department's ruling will have a significant impact well beyond Weston," said Woody Bliss, Weston First Selectman. "We have established the right of people all over Connecticut to make the community access programs they produce available to more than just local Cablevision subscribers. I am thrilled that Weston was able to play a leading role in making this happen, and I thank the DPUC for their careful consideration of our concerns."
Weston was represented by lawyers from Cohen and Wolf, P.C., acting as town attorneys, who argued that there are no laws or regulations that give Cablevision the right to control where programming produced with community access funds is aired.
The Department found that "the comments provided by Weston have considerable merit." The DPUC wrote that "the primary fact on which the Department is relying in making the instant ruling is simple, compelling and uncontested: Community access is paid for by Cablevision subscribers."
"I am gratified that the Commission saw the wisdom of the arguments we made," said G. Kenneth Bernhard of Cohen and Wolf, who represented Weston. "I think the ruling was not only the right one but the best one."
The ruling was adopted by DPUC Commissioners Anthony J. Palermino, Donald W. Downes and John W. Betkoski, III.
Click here to read "DPUC Cuts off Cable Provider" by Douglas S. Malan, Connecticut Law Tribune.
Cohen and Wolf, P.C. provides a wide range of sophisticated legal services to leading businesses, organizations and individuals, both regionally and nationally. For more than half-a-century, Cohen and Wolf has successfully represented business and individual clients in matters involving litigation, corporate and securities law, real estate, land use, tax, employment and labor, municipal law, personal injury, family law, estate planning, elder law and asset protection planning. The firm's team of more than 45 experienced lawyers is based in its three Connecticut offices: Bridgeport, Danbury and Westport. For more information please visit: http://www.cohenandwolf.com/.
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