4 Indiana cities sue Netflix, Hulu for unpaid franchise fees

Indiana state flag

The lawsuit demands the companies — Netflix, Disney, Hulu, DirectTV and Dish Network — be required to pay unpaid fees for past services and all future fees required by law, The Northwest Indiana Times reported.

Posted: Aug 15, 2020 12:28 PM

VALPARAISO, Ind. (AP) — Four Indiana cities are suing video streaming services, including Netflix and Hulu, seeking to require them to pay the same franchise fees to local governments that cable companies must pay.

The class-action lawsuit filed this month argues that major video streaming services must pay a 5% franchise fee of gross revenue to the localities where their customers reside because of the use of internet equipment in the public right of way to transmit programming.

The lawsuit demands the companies — Netflix, Disney, Hulu, DirectTV and Dish Network — be required to pay unpaid fees for past services and all future fees required by law, The Northwest Indiana Times reported. It was filed by the cities of Valparaiso, Fishers, Indianapolis and Evansville.

An estimate of how much money is owed statewide was not provided.

According to the lawsuit, cable companies have abided by the Video Service Franchises Act’s requirements and handed over the fees.

The money is typically paid by cable subscribers as an additional charge on their monthly bills.

Records maintained by the Valparaiso clerk-treasurer show the city received $446,000 in video franchise fees last year, compared with $476,000 in 2017 — a decline likely to an increasing number of residents “cutting the cord” by replacing their cable television service with subscriptions to streaming services.

City attorney Patrick Lyp said the lawsuit will level the playing field so all companies delivering video programming in Valparaiso and across the state pay the fees.

Court records show the streaming service companies have not yet filed a response to the lawsuit.

A similar lawsuit seeking to require streaming services pay local franchise fees still is pending in Missouri after being filed last year by the city of Creve Coeur.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 155246

Reported Deaths: 4065
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion25151785
Lake13570355
St. Joseph9145161
Elkhart8759135
Allen8129228
Hamilton6117113
Vanderburgh576760
Tippecanoe369515
Hendricks3268133
Monroe325738
Porter313649
Johnson3105128
Clark293961
Delaware293274
Vigo260538
Madison235093
Cass224022
LaPorte222858
Warrick192965
Kosciusko182625
Floyd179167
Howard162466
Bartholomew141558
Dubois138626
Marshall137426
Wayne126930
Henry125429
Grant125339
Boone122250
Hancock118245
Noble115933
Jackson112915
Dearborn94928
Morgan93740
Lawrence87436
Daviess87133
Gibson87111
Clinton84716
Shelby81730
LaGrange80115
Harrison76224
Knox75610
Putnam72816
Posey7146
DeKalb71011
Fayette66618
Steuben6278
Miami6095
Jasper5945
White58515
Montgomery58322
Greene53337
Scott51813
Decatur50439
Adams4837
Whitley4556
Clay4467
Ripley4418
Sullivan43714
Wells4288
Wabash4119
Starke4077
Orange40425
Huntington3905
Spencer3906
Washington3753
Franklin37225
Jennings36713
Fulton3523
Randolph3529
Jefferson3415
Pike33018
Carroll32513
Perry31014
Jay3056
Fountain2943
Tipton27523
Vermillion2411
Parke2323
Newton22511
Rush2154
Blackford2093
Owen2051
Martin1990
Crawford1581
Pulaski1521
Brown1393
Ohio1297
Benton1100
Union1100
Switzerland920
Warren781
Unassigned0234

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 190430

Reported Deaths: 5161
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin31466640
Cuyahoga19706682
Hamilton16687343
Montgomery10377189
Lucas8285373
Butler8276129
Summit6689265
Warren420064
Stark3796181
Mahoning3709286
Marion338850
Pickaway301146
Delaware287227
Lorain272889
Fairfield264457
Licking257966
Wood249681
Clark249456
Clermont245938
Greene229242
Trumbull2270134
Allen213073
Columbiana212887
Miami199958
Lake193659
Medina185642
Portage162068
Mercer152128
Wayne140269
Ross139436
Richland132324
Tuscarawas129024
Athens12052
Erie115553
Darke114451
Madison105415
Hancock104725
Auglaize100616
Putnam97427
Lawrence93025
Shelby90914
Muskingum8884
Geauga85950
Scioto8599
Belmont78827
Union7583
Ashtabula72648
Sandusky71122
Huron70912
Preble62418
Holmes61710
Seneca60114
Ottawa58430
Fulton53711
Henry47317
Jefferson4694
Clinton46413
Defiance46013
Jackson4598
Crawford4528
Fayette4498
Highland4304
Logan4233
Ashland3986
Champaign3983
Knox38416
Brown3793
Perry36611
Washington35124
Morrow3442
Hardin33613
Williams3354
Coshocton32112
Guernsey3218
Pike3000
Wyandot29513
Gallia29113
Van Wert2633
Meigs21012
Adams2096
Paulding2012
Carroll2007
Hocking1979
Monroe16118
Noble1290
Vinton963
Harrison803
Morgan780
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Few Clouds
64° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 64°
Angola
Scattered Clouds
64° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 64°
Huntington
Broken Clouds
65° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 65°
Decatur
Broken Clouds
61° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 61°
Van Wert
Broken Clouds
61° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 61°
Friday Afternoon Showers & Thunderstorms
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events