Spectrum Sunshine State, LLC, the local affiliate of Charter Communications and Spectrum Cable TV, filed a lawsuit against a local homeowners association in Florida. At issue here is the local HOA signing a new contract with Blue Stream Communications to replace Spectrum TV and internet services.
Spectrum is arguing that the HOA, Solivita Community Association, failed to honor the contract by not notifying Spectrum of a competing offer and supplying them with a proper copy of the contract so they could make a counteroffer. Spectrum is demanding a judge force the HOA to sign a new contract to the company.
The lawsuit underscores how these HOAs and apartment complexes are critical to the cable industry’s subscriber numbers and the lengths at which companies will try to keep the relationship going. These contracts can guarantee hundreds or even thousands of customers to Spectrum. Every one the company loses could negatively impact the total number of subscribers still remaining on a cable TV network.
These deals are so valuable because even if the resident doesn’t want the services, it’s bundled into their rent or HOA payment, something they can’t avoid. This preserves many customers for cable TV at a time when many individuals are dropping their service.
But it seems that Spectrum and others are willing to fight hard to keep these deals and make new ones. Often, Spectrum cuts deals with these HOAs and apartment buildings to help add hundreds of thousands of subscribers at a time. Back in 2018, Spectrum told one apartment complex that its average cable TV and internet customers paid over $180 a month, but for them, they could get both for $75 a month. The downside was the residents of the apartment complex had no option to reject these deals, and the same goes for many HOA members also.
Spectrum is claiming this HOA had caused damages of over $75,000 dollars. The question now is will they try to force the HOA back into using Spectrum or seek damages? Or will the HOA win out and not have to pay any damages?
With more HOAs and renters getting savvy to cord cutting, it’s possible that fights like this may become more common as cable TV companies look to legal means to hold on to these customers.
Solivitia and Spectrum weren’t immediately available to comment on the lawsuit.
Update: Spectrum replied to Cord Cutters News but declined to comment on the news.