Charter’s Fight Night Cable Outage Inspires Class Action

     ST. LOUIS (CN) – Would-be viewers of the Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao fight claim in Federal Court that Charter Communications left them in the dark.
     Lead plaintiff Anna Ralphs says she bought the Saturday night fight’s pay-per-view package from Charter for $99.99.
     The package included two undercard fights along with the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight, which was billed as “The Fight of the Century,” the complaint filed Tuesday states.
     A service interruption allegedly left Ralphs unable to watch any of the package, however, until the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight was well underway.
     “Despite the fact that Charter cable customers paid for the Fight Package, Plaintiff and the Class and Subclass Members were unable to watch the Pay-Per-View fights until, at best, the end of the fourth round of the Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao fight, missing entirely the two Under Card Fights, the pageantry of how Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao entered the ring, introductions, the National Anthem performed by Jamie Foxx, and pre-fight commentary,” the complaint states. “At worst, some viewers were unable to view the entire Program.”
     Mayweather won the 12-round welterweight title fight on a 3-0 decision, but Ralphs says calls to Charter’s customer-service line were met with a busy signal the entire night.
     Charter’s service issues during the fight even made their way into the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, according to the complaint. The article mentioned a website showing Charter service interruptions across the country during the fight, and noted that St. Louis; Charlotte, N.C.; and parts of South Carolina were the most impacted regions.
     Ralphs says Charter sent out two Tweets during the outage. The first, at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, said: “We are aware of the issue impacting the Mayweather vs. Pacquiao feed. We are working to resolve as soon as possible.”
     Ralph claims the second tweet from @CharterCom came about an hour later, at 9:20 p.m. It allegedly said, “We are continuing to experience issues impacting TV service and are working to restore service as quickly as possible.”
     Despite the interruptions, Charter still charged affected customers the full price of the pay-per-view package, according to the complaint.
     Charter spokesperson Anita Lamont told Courthouse News that the company had no comment since the litigation is pending.
     Ralphs wants to represent all customers who bought the fight on pay-per-view, but experienced an outage. The complaint also describes a subclass consisting of all Missouri residents who bought the fight program, but experienced an outage.
     The class seeks damages for breach of contract and violations of the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act. It is represented by Francis “Casey” Flynn of Carey, Danis & Lowe.
     Charter has been a Fortune 500 company since 2001 and is the fourth-largest cable operator in the United States, according to the company’s website.
     In addition to Charter Communications, the federal class action also names as a defendant Charter Communications Entertainment I.

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