Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Why did I receive a notice directing me to this website?

    A Court authorized the Notice because you have a right to know about a proposed Settlement of this class action lawsuit and all of your options before the Court decides whether to give “final approval” to the Settlement. The Notice, and this website, explains the lawsuit, the Settlement, your legal rights, what benefits are available, who may be eligible for those benefits, and how to get them.

    Judge Madeline C. Arleo of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey is overseeing this class action. The Settlement resolves Marchese v. Cablevision Systems Corp., No. 2:10-cv-02190-MCA-MAH (D.N.J.), which was filed in April 2010.

    The people who sue are called “Plaintiffs.” The companies being sued – Cablevision Systems Corporation and CSC Holdings LLC, collectively called “Cablevision” – are the “Defendants.”

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  2. What is this lawsuit about?

    The lawsuit claims that Cablevision violated federal and state laws by requiring its cable TV subscribers to rent a set-top box from Cablevision in order to receive certain video services. Plaintiffs claim that these practices resulted in subscribers paying higher prices for Cablevision’s cable TV set-top boxes. Cablevision denies the claims and allegations in this lawsuit. The Plaintiffs’ Complaint includes all of Plaintiffs’ claims in the lawsuit and is available here.

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  3. Why is this a class action?

    In a class action, one or more people called “class representatives” sue on behalf of people who have similar claims. In this case, the Class Representatives are Gary Marchese, Esther Weinstein, and Joan Howard. All of these people are members of the Settlement Class. One court resolves the issues for all members of the Settlement Class.

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  4. Why is there a settlement?

    The Court did not decide in favor of Plaintiffs or Cablevision. Instead, both sides agreed to settle this case to avoid the cost and risk of a trial. A settlement is a compromise. The Settlement does not mean that any law was broken or that Cablevision did anything wrong. Cablevision denies all legal claims in this case. Plaintiffs and their lawyers think the Settlement is best for all members of the Settlement Class.

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  5. How do I know if I am part of the Settlement Class?

    To see if you will be affected by the Settlement or if you can get a benefit from it, you first have to decide if you are a member of the Settlement Class.

    The Court decided that, subject to certain exceptions, the Settlement Class includes all persons in New Jersey, Connecticut and New York who subscribed to Cablevision’s video services and paid a monthly fee to Cablevision to lease a Set-Top Box at any time from April 30, 2004 to March 9, 2016.

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  6. Are there exceptions to being included?

    Yes. The following are not included in the Settlement Class:

    • Anyone who excludes themselves from the Settlement (see FAQ's 14-16);
    • Commercial, bulk and municipal accounts of Cablevision;
    • Cablevision’s officers, directors, affiliates, subsidiaries, and counsel;
    • Class Counsel and Class Counsel’s employees; and
    • Judge Madeline C. Arleo, Magistrate Judge Michael A. Hammer, and any other judicial officers who are or may be assigned to this case; those Judges’ immediate families; and those Judges’ law clerks, judicial staff, and their immediate families.
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  7. What if I’m not sure whether I am included in the Settlement?

    If you are not sure whether you are in the Settlement Class, or if you have any other questions about the Settlement, call the toll free number, 1-888-760-4871. You may also write the Claims Administrator with questions at Set-Top Box Claims Administrator, PO Box 3719, Portland, OR 97208-3719, or send an e-mail to info@cableboxsettlement.com.

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  8. What does the Settlement provide?

    If the Settlement is approved and becomes final, it will provide benefits to qualified members of the Settlement Class. The benefits of the Settlement are different for Former and Current Cablevision Subscribers.

    Cablevision has agreed to provide Settlement Class members certain benefits, outlined in FAQ 9 and FAQ 10. Cablevision has also agreed to certain changes to its business practices through December 7, 2019; more information on these changes can be found in the Settlement Agreement.

    The cost to administer the Settlement will be borne by Cablevision (see FAQ 18).

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  9. What are the benefits of the Settlement for Current Cablevision Subscribers?

    Under the Settlement Agreement, “Current Subscribers” are Settlement Class Members who are subscribers to Cablevision’s cable TV services as of March 9, 2016 (the date of the Court’s Preliminary Approval Order) and who lease a Set-Top Box from Cablevision.

    All Current Subscribers will receive access to a free four month subscription to the Internet-delivered SundanceNow service from AMC.

    In addition, if you are a Current Subscriber and file a Claim Form, you may receive additional benefits. The benefits you can choose will vary based on the length of time that you have been a Cablevision cable TV subscriber and on your current services.

    If you have subscribed to Cablevision’s cable TV services for 36 months or less, you may choose from one of the following benefits:

    1. A one-time credit of $20 off your Cablevision bill; or
    2. Five months of free multi-room DVR service (an estimated $64.75 value). This option is only available to customers who do not already subscribe to multi-room DVR, but have at least one digital set-top box in their household; or
    3. One additional set-top box for 8 months (an estimated $63.60 value). Free equipment available for pick-up only; or
    4. Three months of Starz/Encore, including Starz on Demand and Encore on Demand (an estimated $50.70 value). This option is only available to customers who do not already subscribe to these services.

    If you have subscribed to Cablevision’s cable TV services for greater than 36 months and up to 72 months, you may choose from one of the following benefits:

    1. A one-time credit of $30 off your Cablevision bill; or
    2. Eight months of free multi-room DVR service (an estimated $103.60 value). This option is only available to customers who do not already subscribe to multi-room DVR, but have at least one digital set-top box in their household; or
    3. One additional set-top box for 13 months (an estimated $103.35 value). Free equipment available for pick-up only; or
    4. Three months of Starz/Encore and Showtime, including Starz on Demand, Encore on Demand, and Showtime on Demand (an estimated $101.40 value). This option is only available to customers who do not already subscribe to these services.

    If you have subscribed to Cablevision’s cable TV services for more than 72 months, you may choose from one of the following benefits:

    1. A one-time credit of $40 off your Cablevision bill; or
    2. Eleven months of free multi-room DVR service (an estimated $142.45 value). This option is only available to customers who do not already subscribe to multi-room DVR, but have at least one digital set-top box in their household; or
    3. One additional set-top box for 18 months (an estimated $143.10 value). Free equipment available for pick-up only; or
    4. Three months of Starz/Encore and Showtime, including Starz on Demand, Encore on Demand, and Showtime on Demand, plus four months of Optimum SportsPak (an estimated $137.20 value). This option is only available to customers who do not already subscribe to these services.

    Additional equipment may be required to receive one or more of the options listed above.

    For the additional set-top box option, equipment will be provided for free during the indicated term, but must be picked up from an Optimum Store, self-installed by the customer, and returned to an Optimum store by the end of the free period (failure to return the set-top box by the expiration of the free period will result in the usual charge Cablevision applies for monthly equipment rental). Customers who elect the additional set-top box option will be charged for all set-top boxes on their account if they return a set-top box during the benefit period.

    Customers who elect the multi-room DVR service or premium channel option will not need to contact Cablevision to cancel the service before expiration of the free period, as those services will automatically expire at the end of the applicable period.

    Benefits will become available one hundred and twenty (120) days after the Effective Date of the Settlement, and Claimants will be notified of the commencement of the settlement credits in a bill they receive before the settlement credit commences and expiration of the settlement credits in the last bill that they receive before the settlement credits expire. Information on how to obtain SundanceNow will be provided following Final Approval of the Settlement by the Court.

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  10. What are the benefits of the Settlement for Former Cablevision Subscribers?

    Under the Settlement Agreement, “Former Subscribers” are Settlement Class Members who subscribed to Cablevision’s cable TV services at any time from April 30, 2004 through March 9, 2016 but are no longer subscribers of Cablevision’s cable TV services as of March 9, 2016 (the date of the Court’s Preliminary Approval Order), and who, during their subscription, paid Cablevision a monthly fee to lease a Set-Top Box.

    If you are a Former Subscriber, you can submit a Claim Form for a one-time cash payment plus access to a free four month subscription to the Internet-delivered SundanceNow service from AMC. Information on how to obtain SundanceNow will be provided following Final Approval of the Settlement by the Court. The amount of the cash payment you can receive will vary based on the length of time that you were a Cablevision cable TV subscriber.

    If you formerly subscribed to Cablevision’s cable TV services for 36 months or less, you can receive a cash payment of $20.

    If you formerly subscribed to Cablevision’s cable TV services for greater than 36 months and up to 72 months, you can receive a cash payment of $30.

    If you formerly subscribed to Cablevision’s cable TV services for more than 72 months, you can receive a cash payment of $40.

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  11. What do I need to do to participate in the Settlement?

    If you are a Current Subscriber, you must submit a Claim Form to choose your benefit. Current Subscribers will receive access to a free four month subscription to the Internet-delivered SundanceNow service even if they do not submit a Claim Form. Claim Forms are available for online filing here. You may also download a copy here, or by calling 1-888-760-4871, or by writing to the Claims Administrator at Set-Top Box Claims Administrator, PO Box 3719, Portland, OR 97208-3719. Claims must be filed online or postmarked by September 23, 2016.

    If you are a Former Subscriber, you must submit a Claim Form to receive any benefits. Former Subscribers will not receive any benefits if they do nothing. Claim Forms are available for online filing here. You may also download a copy here, or by calling 1-888-760-4871, or by writing to the Claims Administrator at Set-Top Box Claims Administrator, PO Box 3719, Portland, OR 97208-3719. Claims must be filed online or postmarked by September 23, 2016.

    Please read all instructions carefully and fill out the Claim Form completely. Notify the Claims Administrator if you change your postal or email address after submitting your Claim Form.

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  12. When will I get benefits?

    Eligible Current Subscribers that submitted a timely and complete claim will receive Settlement Benefits beginning in February, 2017. Settlement checks to eligible Former Subscribers that submitted a timely and complete claim are scheduled to be sent no later than February 21, 2017.

    If additional information was requested as part of your claim review process, Settlement Benefits may be delayed as any new information you submit is processed. Please be patient.

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  13. What am I giving up to get a benefit?

    If the Settlement becomes final, all members of the Settlement Class – whether you submit a Claim Form or do nothing at all – will be releasing Cablevision from all of the legal claims described and identified in Section 11 of the Settlement Agreement. This means you will give up your right to sue Cablevision regarding any of the claims resolved by this Settlement.

    The Settlement Agreement is available here. The Settlement Agreement provides more detail regarding the release and describes the released claims with specific descriptions, so read it carefully. You can talk to the law firm representing the Settlement Class (listed in FAQ 16) for free, or you can, at your own expense, talk to your own lawyer if you have any questions about the released claims or what they mean.

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  14. If I exclude myself, can I get anything from this Settlement?

    If you do not want to participate in this proposed Settlement and you want to keep the right to sue Cablevision about the legal issues in this case, then you must take steps to get out of the Settlement Class. This is called asking to be excluded from, or sometimes called “opting out” of, the Settlement Class.

    If you exclude yourself, you will not get any Settlement Benefits and you cannot object to the proposed Settlement. You will not be bound by anything that happens in this class action Settlement.

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  15. If I do not exclude myself, can I sue later?

    Unless you exclude yourself, you give up the right to sue Cablevision for all of the claims that the Settlement resolves. You must exclude yourself from this Settlement Class to start or continue your own lawsuit relating to the claims in this case.

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  16. How do I get out of the Settlement?

    To exclude yourself from the Settlement and Settlement Class, you must send a letter or other written document (an “Opt-Out Request”) that says you want to be excluded from the Settlement in Marchese v. Cablevision Systems Corp., No. 2:10-cv-02190-MCA-MAH (D.N.J.). The letter must include your name, address, and signature.

    You must mail your completed Opt-Out Request, postmarked no later than August 24, 2016, to both of the below recipients:

    CLAIMS ADMINISTRATOR CLASS LEAD COUNSEL
    Set-Top Box Claims Administrator
    PO Box 3719
    Portland, OR 97208-3719
    Brett Cebulash, Esq.
    Kevin Landau, Esq.
    Taus, Cebulash & Landau, LLP
    80 Maiden Lane
    Suite 1204
    New York, NY 10038

    If you do not follow these procedures, you will remain a member of the Settlement Class and lose any opportunity to exclude yourself from the Settlement.

    You cannot ask to be excluded by phone, by email, or on this website.

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  17. Do I have a lawyer in this case?

    The Court appointed Taus, Cebulash & Landau, LLP as “Class Lead Counsel” to represent the Settlement Class. You will not be charged for these lawyers. If you want to be represented by your own lawyer in this case, you may hire one at your own expense

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  18. How will the administrative costs and attorneys’ fees be paid?

    Cablevision has agreed to pay the costs of class notice and claims administration, including the costs of mailing notice forms.

    If the Settlement is approved by the Court, Class Counsel will ask the Court for reasonable attorneys’ fees and expenses not to exceed $9.5 million. These fees and expenses will be decided by the Court and paid by Cablevision, and will not reduce the benefits Settlement Class Members receive. Members of the Settlement Class will not have to pay the fees and expenses of Class Counsel. Class Counsel may also request that $5,000 be paid to each Class Representative for his or her services on behalf of the whole Settlement Class.

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  19. How do I tell the court if I do not like the Settlement?

    If you do not exclude yourself from the Settlement Class, you may object to the Settlement or any part of it, including the terms of the proposed Settlement or Class Counsel’s request for attorneys’ fees and expenses.

    An objection to the Settlement Agreement must include:

    1. The full name and current address of the person objecting, and a statement whether the person is or was a Cablevision cable television subscriber and for how long;
    2. The case name: Marchese v. Cablevision Systems Corp., No. 2:10-cv-02190-MCA-MAH (D.N.J.);
    3. The reasons why you object to the proposed settlement;
    4. Any evidence, briefs, motions, or other materials you intend to offer in support of your objection;
    5. The name and contact information of any attorney that you have retained to represent you for the objection;
    6. If you or your attorney want to speak in Court, a statement that you intend to appear at the Final Fairness Hearing (see FAQ 21); and
    7. Your signature.

    Also, for your objection to be effective, you must identify (by case name, court, and docket number) all other cases in which you (directly or through counsel) or your counsel (on behalf of any person or entity) have filed an objection to any other proposed class action settlement.

    You must mail your objection to each of the addresses below so that it is postmarked by August 24, 2016.

    COURT CLASS LEAD COUNSEL CABLEVISION’S COUNSEL
    U.S. District Court for the
    District of New Jersey
    Clerk of the Court
    Martin Luther King Building
    & U.S. Courthouse
    50 Walnut Street
    Room 4015
    Newark, NJ 07101
    Brett Cebulash, Esq.
    Kevin Landau, Esq.
    Taus, Cebulash & Landau, LLP
    80 Maiden Lane
    Suite 1204
    New York, NY 10038
    Mark Popofsky, Esq.
    Ropes & Gray, LLP
    2099 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
    Washington, DC 20006-6807

    If you do not follow these procedures, you will lose any opportunity to have your objection considered at the Final Fairness Hearing, as well as your right to object to the approval of the Settlement or to appeal any of the Court’s decisions related to the Settlement.

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  20. What is the difference between objecting and asking to be excluded?

    Objecting is simply telling the Court that you do not like something about the Settlement. You can object only if you stay in the Settlement Class. Excluding yourself is telling the Court that you do not want to be part of the Settlement Class. If you exclude yourself, you cannot object to the Settlement and you will not be eligible to apply for any benefits under the Settlement.

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  21. When and where will the Court decide whether to approve the Settlement?

    On September 12, 2016, at 11:00 a.m., the Court will hold a public Final Fairness Hearing in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, located at Courtroom 2A of the Martin Luther King Building & U.S. Courthouse, 50 Walnut Street, Newark, NJ 07101. At this hearing, the Court will determine whether the Settlement is fair, adequate, and reasonable and should be finally approved. The Court will also consider Class Counsel’s request for attorneys’ fees and expenses.

    This hearing may be delayed or rescheduled by the Court without further notice to the Settlement Class. Members of the Settlement Class who support the Settlement do not need to appear at the hearing or take any other action to indicate their approval of the Settlement. Members of the Settlement Class who object to the Settlement are not required to attend the Final Fairness Hearing. If you want to speak in Court in opposition to the Settlement, either personally or through your own separate attorney, you must state in your written objection your intention to appear at the Final Fairness Hearing, as explained in FAQ 19.

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  22. Do I have to come to the Final Fairness Hearing?

    No. Class Counsel will answer any questions the Court may have. However, you are welcome to attend the Final Fairness Hearing at your own expense. If you send in a written objection, you do not have to come to the Final Fairness Hearing to talk about it. As long as you mailed your written objection on time, the Court will consider it. You may also pay your own lawyer to attend the Final Fairness Hearing, but their attendance is not necessary.

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  23. What happens if I do nothing at all?

    If you are a Former Subscriber and do nothing, you will not get benefits from this Settlement. If you are a Current Subscriber and do nothing, you will receive access to a free four month subscription to the Internet-delivered SundanceNow service from AMC. Unless you exclude yourself, you will not be able to start a lawsuit, continue with a lawsuit, or be part of any other lawsuit against Cablevision about the claims in this case, ever again.

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  24. How do I get more information?

    More details are in the Settlement Agreement itself. You can view a copy of the Settlement Agreement here. You may also write with questions to Set-Top Box Claims Administrator, PO Box 3719, Portland, OR 97208-3719, or send an e-mail to info@cableboxsettlement.com.

    You can file a Claim Form here, or have a Claim Form mailed to you by calling 1-888-760-3719. If you wish to communicate directly with Class Lead Counsel, you may contact them at the address listed in FAQ 16. You may also seek advice and guidance from your own private attorney at your own expense.

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Important Dates

  • Class Period
    April 30, 2004 – March 9, 2016
  • Deadline to Exclude yourself from the Settlement
    August 24, 2016
  • Deadline to Object to the Settlement
    August 24, 2016
  • Final Fairness Hearing
    September 12, 2016, at 11:00 a.m. (EST)
    United States District Court
    for the District of New Jersey
    Courtroom 2A
    Martin Luther King Building
    & U.S. Courthouse
    50 Walnut Street, Newark, NJ 07101
  • Final Judgment Entered
    September 12, 2016
  • Online Claim Filing Deadline
    September 23, 2016
  • Postmarked Deadline for Paper Claim Filing
    September 23, 2016
  • Distribution of Settlement Benefits to eligible Claimants Begin
    February 21, 2017