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Dish Network, Cablevision engaged in contract dispute

Dish Network, a satellite television provider operating in many localities in Virginia is currently headed to trial over a $2 billion contract dispute between itself and Cablevision, which provided programming for several of Dish Network's high-definition channels.

Their relationship began when Dish Network purchased a subsidiary of Cablevision several years back. As part of the contract agreement concerning that purchase and sale, Dish Network agreed to carry the HD channels as part of its satellite TV service. In exchange, Cablevision was required to continually invest a specified amount for the programming of these channels.

After Dish Network audited their operations, they determined that Cablevision was not fulfilling the terms of the agreement. Specifically, Dish Network claims that while Cablevision may have made some investment towards the HD programming, Cablevision was not meeting the specific requirements for expenditures on programming under the terms of the agreement. As a result, Dish Network decided to terminate their contract.

Cablevision disagrees with Dish Network's analysis and brought this litigation to enforce the terms of their contract agreement.

Dish Network has a further complicating matter in this long-running contract dispute. A judge ruled that Dish Network was guilty of destroying emails which could have been used as evidence in this case. T he judge ruled that this was in violation of the law because this evidence should have been placed in "litigation hold" in expectation that the case would go to trial.

As a result, determining the amount of damages may prove difficult considering Dish Network's failure to preserve relevant documents.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, "Dolans, Ergen Take Old Spat to Court," Shalini Ramachandran, Sept. 16, 2012

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