One of the most recent complaints from an American broadcaster is coming from the NBC-Universal group.
The group owns a slew of cable channels including USA, Bravo, CNBC, MSNBC, E!, Esquire, Golf, NBC Sports Network and Sprout.
The group has written to Columbus Communications, operators of Flow, asking them to delete these channels.
NBC Universal wrote to Columbus President Michele English on February 13 this year.
The letter is signed by NBC’s Senior Vice President of Litigation, Daniel Kummer.
Kummer says it has come to their attention that Columbus has been unlawfully re-transmitting NBC’s channels over Flow’s cable networks.
He says Flow is also using NBC’s logos and trademarks without authorization.
The attorney says that in the past, Flow has obtained rights to carry some NBC-owned channels through the Caribbean Cable Coop.
He notes that Flow may also have rights for some other channels through NBC’s Latin America subsidiary.
However, Kummer says beyond those agreements, he has no record that Flow has any license, authorization or consent to receive and retransmit the NBC networks or any NBC programs, or to use their logos and trademarks.
What’s more, he says no company has been authorized to distribute the NBC television network outside the United States.
Kummer writes, “We demand that your company immediately cease and desist from this blatant violation of the legal rights of NBC Universal and its other licensed distributors in Jamaica.”
And he makes it clear that they’re not just requesting that Flow simply “black out” programming when there are conflicting local rights agents.
He says that is not an acceptable solution.
Rather, Kummer says Flow must delete all of the NBC Networks for which it has no licenses in their entirety from its channel lineups.
An emailed response from Flow says the company is in dialogue with its content partners at NBC Universal to finalize agreements for the broadcast of some channels.
However, when Nationwide News contacted Kummer yesterday, he said Flow had not responded to its February 13 letter.
And indeed, NBC Channels remain on Flow’s lineup, seemingly in violation of NBC’s directive.