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Judge Rejects DISH Network TV Settlements

Miami – Despite a U.S. District Court injunction issued here Friday, EchoStar said it will seek congressional assistance allowing it to continue serving distant network broadcasts to eligible subscribers.

In issuing the injunction, the court rejected a proposed $100 million settlement between EchoStar and affiliates of the ABC, NBC and CBS television networks. The judge said statutory language required the settlements be ignored.

EchoStar said the action, which is to take effect Dec. 1, could impact up to 800,000 subscribers. The injunction barred the company from delivering out-of-market network broadcasts from such areas as New York and Los Angeles, into mostly rural markets that are out of reach of local network TV affiliates.

In a statement, the Englewood, Colo.-based satellite provider said it will ask the courts to reconsider the decision, and will seek to ask Congress to clarify the statutory language.

EchoStar was unable to reach settlements with affiliates of the Fox Network, which is controlled by News Corp., the majority owner of rival satellite service DirecTV.