Dish reaches settlement with Cablevision, AMC

MUMBAI: Pay-TV provider Dish Network, a subsidiary of Dish Network Corporation, has said that it has settled all of its pending litigation with Voom HD Holdings, which had in 2008 sued Dish Network for $2.4 billion in damages for violation of contract.

Voom HD Holdings, then a unit of Cablevision, had sued Dish Network for violating a 15-year contract that required the pay TV service provider to carry a suite of HD channels, including those devoted to Kung Fu and video games.

Voom is now a part of AMC Networks, which Cablevision spun off last year.

As part of the settlement, Dish Network pays a cash settlement of $700 million to Cablevision and AMC Networks, $80 million of which is in consideration for the purchase of Cablevision’s multichannel video and data distribution service (MVDDS) licenses in 45 metropolitan areas in the US.

As part of the agreement, Dish will receive 500 MHz of wireless multichannel video distribution and data service spectrum licenses that cover a population of 150 million in 45 DMAs including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco and Philadelphia.

Dish will also enter into a long-term distribution agreement with AMC Networks to carry AMC, IFC, Sundance Channel and WE tv, and with The Madison Square Garden Company to carry Fuse on its satellite service; and also convey its 20-percent membership interest in Voom HD to Rainbow Programming Holdings LLC, such that all of the cash settlement remains with Cablevision and AMC Networks.

As part of a separate, multi-year agreement, Dish will resume broadcast of the AMC channel beginning 21 October. The AMC channel will be carried on Dish channel 131. Other AMC Networks programming, including Sundance Channel, WE tv and IFC, will return to Dish November 1. The Madison Square Garden Company‘s music-oriented Fuse channel will begin broadcast 1 November.

Promptly after payment of the cash settlement is received, the parties will file a joint stipulation to dismiss the lawsuit with prejudice. The allocation of the settlement proceeds between Cablevision and AMC Networks will be determined pursuant to the existing agreement relating to this litigation between the two companies.

AMC Networks President and CEO Josh Sapan said, "We are glad to partner again with DISH Network and are delighted to bring back our popular channels and programming to their customers."

"We are glad to have settled the case and reestablished our long-term relationships with AMC Networks and Cablevision. This multi-year deal delivers a fair value for both parties and includes digital expansion opportunities for AMC Networks‘ programming," said Dish SVP of Programming Dave Shull. "

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