Dinn, Hochman & Potter, LLC

Contract disputes affecting some Ohio viewers

After a long day at work or school, many Ohio residents like to go home and relax for a little while in front of the television. Many of these individuals have their favorite shows or news programs, and they do not want to miss out on these. Then, there are those who enjoy watching sports broadcasts such as the NCAA tournament. Unfortunately, due to recent contract disputes between U-Verse and Raycom Media, some Ohio residents have not been able to enjoy these favorites.

Apparently, the U-verse is broadcasting in place of the Raycom Media broadcast, and Raycom Media removed the affected channels from U-verse. U-verse claims that this was done in spite of its request that Raycom Media continue as a part of the U-verse channel offerings. Apparently, this change in channel availability was a sudden occurrence for U-verse customers.

As a part of this contract dispute, Raycom Media's version is somewhat different. According to Raycom, its channel offerings were dropped in over 20 of its markets as one part of the on-going negotiations. Additionally, Raycom asserts that since U-Verse merged with DirecTV, this loss of service has happened four other times. Raycom states it has successfully negotiated agreements and avoided a loss of service to customers in over 99 percent of the markets in which it broadcasts.

Contract disputes are common among business entities within Ohio. Fortunately, many of these disputes are minor and remain unnoticed by the companies' customers. Many contract disputes can be avoided by negotiating with and working closely with each company's legal counsel.

Source: ohio.com, "Dispute between U-verse and Raycom Media cuts off some Northeast Ohio cable customers from NCAA tournament coverage", March 16, 2017

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