Q. I am a DIRECTV subscriber and I haven’t had my CBS station for more than a month and it’s driving me crazy, particularly with football season. I would drop DIRECTV, but I am stuck in one of those two-year contracts you wrote about. So my question is, Can’t I sue DIRECTV? I mean, I signed up for the two years thinking I would get CBS and now I don’t. Aren’t they in breach of the contract? — Johnnie, Portland.
Johnnie, DIRECTV has been without more than 120 Nexstar-owned local stations since July 3 due to a fee dispute between the two companies. The stations include network affiliates for CBS, ABC, Fox and ABC.
Some DIRECTV subscribers, particularly those who want to watch this season’s NFL games on CBS and Fox, would like to cancel the satellite TV service and sign up with a pay TV provider or live streaming service that carries the channels. However, many DIRECTV customers have enrolled in two-year plans that include stiff termination fees if you cancel prior to the end of the agreement. (The two-year offers come with attractive and exclusive benefits such as the NFL Sunday Ticket for free.)
But I have received several e-mails from DIRECTV subscribers saying they can sue the satcaster for breach of contract. By their thinking, they should be allowed to cancel now without penalty because DIRECTV no longer provides all the channels that were available when their two-year agreement first began.
I can understand why they would feel that way. They are angry about the blackout of a favorite channel. But I have to inform everyone that you can’t sue DIRECTV for breach to get out of the two-year deal. The satcaster has included language in the agreement that enables them to drop channels, or raise prices, at any time during the two years.
“Programming, pricing, terms and conditions subject to change at any time,” the agreement states.
So, Johnnie, if you want to cancel DIRECTV, you won’t have any success doing it by filing a lawsuit.
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— Phillip Swann
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