The more things change, the more they stay the same.
On Tuesday, Viacom, parent of MTV, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central, was accused in a lawsuit filed by New York-based cable operator Cablevision Systems Corp. of engaging in anti-competitive and monopolistic business practices. The suit, filed in federal court in New York, charges that Viacom unfairly leverages the strength of its strong networks to get distribution for its weaker channels.
"Viacom effectively forces Cablevision's customers to pay for and receive little-watched channels in order to get the channels they actually want," the suit said, adding that such behavior is an abuse of market power and does irreparable harm to the pay-TV industry.
These accusations probably sound familiar to veteran Viacom executives as they are very similar to the ones it made against cable mogul John Malone 20 years ago.