One of the leading satellite companies in the U.S.,
DISH Network Corporation's
) appeal to change the trial venue for the copyright-infringement
lawsuits filed against it, by the TV network companies, has been
dismissed by the Federal Court. The judge ruled in favor of the
broadcasters and declared that the trial for the breach of contract
claim will be held in Los Angeles, California.
In May 2012, Dish Network integrated an advertisement-free
program viewing option on its already popular Hopper DVR device.
The new technology is called Auto Hop and it allows users to skip
commercials at the time of watching recorded TV-shows.
This service is currently available for the HD subscribers of
four prime time channels -- ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox. Furthermore, TV
shows once recorded can be stored for eight days along with the
advertisement-free viewing option.
However, the company was sued by three broadcasters including
)-owned Fox network and
)-owned NBC Universal who claim that the new feature not only
violates copyright laws but also significantly jeopardizes their
Dish Network claimed that it did not breach any copyright law as
the new service is similar to the DVR service that provides
flexible viewing of TV shows to the customers at their own
preferred time. The company argued that the network companies are
acting as roadblock to its innovation and have filed a reverse
petition against the network companies in New
Dish's appeal for a change in trial venue being rejected does
not necessarily strike down its hopes of providing the ad-free TV
services. Nevertheless, it would add to its list of pending legal
issues which also include a breach-of-contract lawsuit filed
against it by
) ,claiming a damage fee of an enormous $2.5 billion.
Such legal tussles are expected to continue until and unless the
government intervenes and brings in more clarity to the contract
terms between the media and broadcasting networks.
The current Zacks Consensus Estimate for Dish Network Corp. is
pegged at 70 cents for the second quarter with a growth rate
estimate of (6.31%). For 2012 and 2013, the Zacks Consensus
Estimates stand at $2.77 and $2.84 with a growth rate of (4.23%)
and 2.55%, respectively.
Currently, DISH Network has a Zacks #3 Rank, implying a
short-term Hold rating on the stock. We are also maintaining our
long-term Neutral recommendation on the company's shares.
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