New York Association for Better Choices
This article is part of the Center for Media & Democracy's spotlight on front groups and corporate spin.
New York Association for Better Choices was a coalition of politicians, local business and community groups which opposed the proposed construction of the New York Jets' new Far West Side Stadium.
In May 2004, NYABC unleashed a multimillion-dollar advertising campaign that attacked the stadium plan, which called for "a total of $600 million in city and state funding." Three of their advertisements placed images of firefighters front and center; all of the advertisements were paid for by Cablevision Systems Corporation, which owns Madison Square Garden and feared "that a new West Side stadium would drain convention and concert business from its arena." Cablevision employed [public relations] firm Sloane & Company to work for the NYABC.
The New York Jets filed a lawsuit March 16, 2005, against Cablevision Systems Corporation, alleging that Cablevision had been using illegal efforts to squash plans for the Jets’ new multi-purpose sports, entertainment and convention facility, known as the Sports and Convention Center. Cablevision, besides providing cable television services to the New York metropolitan area, also owns Madison Square Garden, the Theatre at Madison Square Garden and Radio City Music Hall, which are the only enclosed facilities in Manhattan able to seat more than 5,000 people.
Among Cablevision’s anti-competitive tactics noted in the complaint, the New York Jets detailed their funding of the NYABC, a front group through which “[Cablevision] has disseminated much of its false and misleading advertising.” The complaint also alleged that Cablevision’s conduct puts New York City’s bid to host the 2012 Olympic Games at risk.
Eight months after plans for the new stadium and convention center were scrapped, both sides of the lawsuit released an identical statement “saying that they had ended their legal battle without either of them admitting any fault or assuming any liability."
- "Firefighters Are on Both Sides of the Jets Stadium Ad Fight", New York Times, February 8, 2005
- “The Holmes Report: Investor Relations Agency of the Year – Sloane & Company,” Sloane & Company
- New York Jets LLC et al v. Cablevision Systems Corporation et al, New York Southern District Court, filed March 16, 2005.
- Metro Briefing - New York: Manhattan: Jets Settle Stadium Lawsuit," New York Times, March 2, 2006
- Charles V. Bagli, “Federal Court Is the Next Stop in Jets-Cablevision Stadium War”, New York Times, March 17, 2005.
- Charles V. Bagli, "Metro Briefing - New York: Manhattan: Jets Settle Stadium Lawsuit," New York Times, March 2, 2006.
- Nicholas Confessore, "Firefighters Are on Both Sides of the Jets Stadium Ad Fight," New York Times, February 8, 2005.
- Steve Donohue, “Cablevision Ups Its Bid,” Multichannel News, March 28, 2005.
- Donna Higgins, "Cablevision Trying to Block Olympic Stadium, Jets Say," FindLaw, March 22, 2005.
- Paul Holmes, “The Holmes Report: Investor Relations Agency of the Year – Sloane & Company,”, Sloane & Company.
- “Lawsuit Reveals Cablevision Systematically Violated Sherman Antitrust Act to Illegally Maintain Monopoly,” Business Wire, March 16, 2005.
- "New York Jets LLC et al v. Cablevision Systems Corporation et al," Filed March 16, 2005.
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