Cablevision Considers DVR Appeal26 Mar, 2007 By: Erik Gruenwedel
Cablevision Systems Corp. is considering appealing a federal judge's decision last week that prohibits the Bethpage, N.Y. cable operator from introducing a network-based digital video recorder service.
Last May, a group of entertainment companies filed a lawsuit against Cablevision alleging that its planned DVR service violated their copyrights.
Unlike other TiVo and other cable-based DVR services, Cablevision's service would have allowed its subscribers to record and store programming on the company's server instead of a set-top box.
Conventional DVRs allow only the storage of content on the user's individual set-top box.
The plaintiffs, which included 20th Century Fox, Universal Studios, Paramount Pictures, The Walt Disney Co., and TV networks ABC, CBS and NBC, claimed such an arrangement circumvented “simultaneous broadcast” license agreements that forbid cable companies from storing content and repurposing it for a fee without a separate license.
Cablevision, which owns Madison Square Garden and its sports teams, the New York Knicks, Rangers (NHL) and Liberty (WNBA), has about 3 million subscribers in New York City, Connecticut and New Jersey.
“We are disappointed by the judge's decision, and continue to believe that remote-storage DVRs are consistent with copyright law and offer compelling benefits for consumers — including lower costs and broader availability of this popular technology,” said Cablevision, in the statement. "We are currently reviewing the opinion and assessing all of our options, including an appeal, while we continue to deploy conventional set-top box DVRs."