After four years of legal disputes and litigation, Cablevision and AMC Networks have settled the Voom HD litigation with DISH Network. According to legal reports, Voom HD (an LLC owned by Cablevision and now part of AMC Networks) had entered into an affiliation agreement with EchoStar (a provider of direct broadcast satellite television services though DISH Network). The affiliation agreement was a 15-year contract in which EchoStar agreed to distribute Voom's television programming as part of their most popular HD programming services, providing that Voom spent at least $100 million per year on the "service." If, at any point, after audit of Voom's investments and expenses, it was determined that Voom failed to meet its commitment, EchoStar had the legal right to terminate the agreement.
According to Voom, EchoStar, in order to claim breach of contract and terminate the Voom agreement, falsified documentation to claim that Voom had failed to meet its financial and programming obligations. EchoStar reportedly wanted to renegotiate the terms of the agreement and place Voom programming on a "tier" basis. If that had happened, however, Voom stood to lose millions of dollars. Two years after the initial claim, Voom's programming was dropped.
After four years of legal disputes and litigation, Cablevision and AMC Networks settled. Under the terms of the settlement that have been reported, DISH Network will pay $700 million dollars cash to Cablevision and AMC Networks, and will hand over its 20 percent stake in Voom. $80 million of the cash settlement will go towards the purchase of Cablevision's multichannel video and data distribution service licenses. DISH Network also entered into a long-term distribution agreement with AMC Networks in order to carry some of its most popular channels; AMC, IFC, Sundance Channel, WE TV, and more.
One of the most important aspects of any business negotiation or deal is the use of contracts and agreements in order to clearly lay out each party's responsibilities, obligations and commitments. Having such documents and agreements in place helps protect the interests and rights of each party. It also helps ensure all parties are held accountable for their actions or omissions so that no individual or business is put at risk or left without a clearly delineated path for legal recourse.
If a business associate is threatening to terminate or breach a contractual agreement with you, or you are in need of legal representation in a business litigation matter, we recommend that you contact a Maryland civil litigation attorneyat Brennan Lynch LLP as soon as possible. We are here to answer your questions and provide you with the professional representation you need.