Cable Company Hit with Lawsuit for Outage During Pacquiao v Mayweather


By Bryanna Fissori
Legal Analyst

For as much hype as went into the “Fight of the Century,” the backlash of follies was bound to be just as abundant.

Those that were lucky enough to view the entire pay per view broadcast of Pacquiao vs Mayweather on May 2nd may recall the delay in start time that was announced by commentators as an issue with overloaded cable companies trying to get issues resolved for purchasers of the event.

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Anna Ralphs, who is one such customer has opted to file a class action suit against Charter Communications for the cable outage that prevented her and thousands of others from viewing several of the preliminary fights, main event introductions and a good portion of the main event. The largest areas of affected views were across the St. Louis, Missouri region as well as parts of North Carolina and South Carolina. Charter was not the only company to experience a system crash. Many major providers including Time Warner, DirecTV, DISH and Comcast, as well as others had similar problems due to the large number of people trying to purchase the pay per view event.

According to the complaint filed just three day after the fight, the potential class members exceed 100 or more, and the matter in controversy totals over $5,000,000.00 before interest and costs. Plaintiffs that are defined within the class include those who purchased the pay per view event as a full coverage fight package from the Defendant and suffered a service outage during the broadcast.

The complaint asserts causes of action for breach of contract, and violation of the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act (Mo. Rev. Stat. Section 407.010 et seq.).

A violation of the act is said to occur upon “use or employment by any person of any deception, fraud, false pretense, false promise, misrepresentation, unfair practice or the concealment, suppression or omission of any material fact in connection with the sale or advertisement of any merchandise in trade or commerce.”

The complaint essentially relies on the contention that Charter Communications knew of the outage and continued to charge customers for the event during that time frame.

The Defendant has already stated that refunds would be issued to those that were affected by the outages. Returning the $99.99 to each consumer may not be ideal for Charter, but may be more time and cost efficient than litigation.

The Plaintiff (on behalf of the class and subclass in the action) is requesting, “That the Court enter judgment against the Defendant for all economic, monetary, actual, consequential and compensatory damages caused by its conduct, and if its conduct is proved willful, award Plaintiff and the Class treble and exemplary damages.”

The agonizing pain of having a house full of people and no “fight of the century” to watch . . . someone was going to have to suffer for this tragedy.

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