Charter sued by former Massachusetts station owner for allegedly fudging sub counts


Charter Communications is being sued by the former owner of two Western Massachusetts network affiliates for allegedly fudging subscriber numbers and thus underpaying on broadcast retransmission fees. 

John Gormally sold the ABC and Fox affiliates in Springfield, Mass. to Meredith Corp. two years ago. Gormally is now suing Charter for fraud and breach of contract in the U.S. District Court in Springfield for allegedly not including viewers in nearby Worcester when calculating the amount of retrans money it paid Gormally back in 2013-14.

“As a result of Charter’s breach, Gormally has been damaged in the amount of the fees that are payable under the agreement for the Worcester subscribers,” Gromally said in his complaint. 

The amount Gormally is seeking has been redacted from public view.

Charter had no comment for FierceCable

Masslive first reported on the lawsuit. The news website is jointly controlled by the local Springfield CBS, ABC and Fox affiliates. 

"Because Charter's information concerning subscribers was not public, and known only to Charter, and because Gormally had no alternative but to accept as true Charter's representations concerning its subscribers, Charter was bound by a duty or relation to Gormally to speak accurately concerning its subscribers,” Gormally’s lawsuit added. 

The suit is seeking compensation for retrans fees allegedly not paid from June 1, 2013 to June 2, 2014.

On a separate front, Charter is also being sued by Univision and 21st Century Fox for what the programmers say is the improper leveraging of new acquisition Time Warner Cable’s programming deals. 

For more:
- read this Massive story

Related articles:
DirecTV ends retrans dispute in Boston
Dish threatened with blackout by two Sunbeam affiliates
Programmer lawsuits beg question: Who bought who in Charter-TWC deal?