By CultureBanx Team
- Byron Allen’s Entertainment Studios $10B racial bias lawsuit against Charter Communications can proceed
- There are 50 pay-TV operators that already distribute Allen’s content including Verizon Fios, DirecTV, RCN and Suddenlink to 80 million subscribers
Comedian and media mogul Byron Allen has officially put Charter Communications on notice, now that Federal District Court Judge George H. Wu has allowed Entertainment Studios’ $10 billion racial bias lawsuit to proceed. Charter Communications (CHTR +0.22%) cable distribution reaches about 26 million subscribers and they’ve been blocking Allen from getting access to them. As one of the few Black-owned media companies, will Allen have the last laugh with this lawsuit finally putting an end to systemic racism in media practices by carrying his slate of channels?
Why This Matters: Charter had hoped its ‘Motion to Dismiss’ the $10 billion lawsuit would rid them of this ongoing legal battle that kicked off back in 2015. Under the umbrella of a Reconstruction-era civil rights law, that says companies can’t discriminate based on race in business contracts, Allen plans to put a stop to the dismissive nature of Charter.
Systemic racism kills us in the schoolroom, kills us in the boardroom, and kills us in the courtroom, long before it kills us in the streets
“Charter will continue to lose this case, and I am going to make an example of them for all of America to see, because structural racism will not be tolerated. Systemic racism kills us in the schoolroom, kills us in the boardroom, and kills us in the courtroom, long before it kills us in the streets, said Byron Allen, Founder/Chairman/CEO of Entertainment Studios in a statement.”
Allen is a successful African American media executive, comedian and entrepreneur activist, who now controls one of the largest Black-owned media companies. The Entertainment Studios media empire consists of the Weather Channel purchased in 2018 for $300 million. Additionally, it partnered with Sinclair Broadcasting last year to acquire 21 regional sports networks for $10.6 billion from Disney, and has bought 16 Big-Four network affiliate broadcast television stations in two deals for $470 million.
Entertainment Studios also has 64 syndicated television series, eight cable networks. Currently, there are 50 pay-TV operators that already distribute its content including Verizon Fios, DirecTV, RCN and Suddenlink to 80 million subscribers.
What’s Next: Let’s not forget that in Entertainment Studios $20 billion discrimination lawsuit against Comcast (CMCSA +0.04%), the Supreme Court’s Justices unanimously decided 9-0 to send the case back to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco in March 2020. Allen and Comcast did reach a settlement agreement back in June. The financial details weren’t disclosed, but Comcast will now carry three of Allen’s channels including Comedy.TV, Recipe.TV, and JusticeCentral.TV. It’s likely we may see a similar outcome in the Charter case, since after more than five years, Allen can proceed against Charter with pre-trial initial disclosures and commence discovery.
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