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Dish Network settles with Cablevision, AMC

Mon, 10/22/2012 - 4:54pm
The Associated Press

Satellite TV company Dish Network said Sunday that it has settled a lawsuit with AMC Networks and its sister company Cablevision Systems over a now defunct programming service.

As part of the settlement, Dish will pay $700 million in cash to Cablevision and AMC Networks. About $80 million of the cash settlement will be used for the purchase of Cablevision's multichannel video and data distribution services licenses in 45 metropolitan areas in the U.S., according to the companies.

Dish – which is based in Englewood, Colo., and has 14 million subscribers – also agreed it would resume carrying AMC, IFC, Sundance Channel and We tv.

The lawsuit had centered on Dish's decision for cutting short a deal to carry AMC's Voom HD, dedicated to high-definition programming. In July, the AMC channels ended up in the crosshairs of the legal spat. Dish dropped AMC, citing that the channels cost too much. But AMC argued Dish was just trying to gain leverage in the lawsuit. AMC had said that 13 percent of its subscriber base was affected by the blackout.

AMC is home to such shows as "Breaking Bad" and "The Walking Dead."

As part of a multi-year agreement, the AMC channel will be carried on Dish Channel 131 starting Sunday. Other AMC Networks programming will return to Dish Nov. 1. The Madison Square Garden's music-oriented Fuse channel will begin broadcast Nov. 1, as well.

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

Dave Shull, senior vice president of programming for Dish, said that a multi-year deal delivers a "fair value for both parties and includes digital expansion opportunities for AMC Networks' programming."

The lawsuit was filed in the Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of New York.

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