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Dish Networks Pays $700M, Settles Dispute with AMC and Cablevison

Dish Network Pays $700M to Settle Disputes with AMC and Cablevison (Update)Dish Network Pays $700M to Settle Disputes with AMC and Cablevison (Update)

Cablevision and AMC Networks announced Sunday that they have settle their legal dispute with Dish Networks over Voom HD, an indirect subsidiary of AMC Networks.

The companies have also agreed on a long-term agreement for Dish to carry the AMC Networks AMC, IFC, Sundance Channel and WE tv. AMC's cable networks -- including the flagship channel which "Walking Dead" and "Mad Men" -- have been blacked out on Dish systems since July as a result of a contract dispute.

Dish resumed broadcast of the AMC channel on Sunday on channel131.

"We are glad to have settled the case and reestablished our long-term relationshipswith AMC Networks and Cablevision," said Dave Shull, senior vice president of programming at Dish. "This multi-year deal delivers a fair value for both parties and includes digital expansion opportunities for AMC Networks' programming."

Other AMC Networks programming, including Sundance Channel, WE tv and IFC, will return to Dish  Nov. 1. The Madison Square Garden Company's music-oriented Fuse channel will begin broadcast Nov. 1, as well.

Dish will pay a settlement of $700 million to Cablevision and AMC Networks, $80 million of which will go for the purchase of Cablevision's multichannel video and distribution licenses in 45 U.S. metropolitan areas.

Also read: Dish Against the World: Why Dish Network Can't Stop Fighting

"We are glad to partner again with DISH Network and are delighted to bring back our popular channels and programming to their customers," Josh Sapan, president and CEO, AMC Networks, said in a statement:

Earlier this year, Dish announced that it would stop carrying AMC's networks when AMC's contract ran out at the end of June. Dish claimed that it was dropping the networks because the viewership didn't justify the cost of running the networks.

AMC countered that Dish was dropping the AMC networks in retaliation for a breach-of-contract lawsuit filed against Dish by Voom HD, an indirect subsidiary of AMC Networks.

Voom HD, a former Cablevision unit, sued Dish in 2008, saying the satellite TV distributor violated a 15-year deal to carry HD programming and should pay $2.4 billion in damages. The trial has been unfolding in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan since Sept. 28.

Dish Chairman Charlie Ergen was scheduled to testify Wednesday in the case.Cablevision founder and Chairman Charles Dolan and Sapan testified earlier.

Here's the press release:

Cablevision Systems Corporation (NYSE: CVC) and AMC Networks (NASDAQ: AMCX) today announced that they have settled their litigation with DISH Network LLC (NASDAQ: DISH) related to VOOM HD Holdings LLC. The lawsuit, VOOM HD Holdings LLC v. EchoStar Satellite LLC, was filed in the Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of New York.

The settlement agreements include the following components:

  • 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 U.S.;
  • DISH Network enters 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
  • DISH also conveys 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.

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.


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