AMC Networks Inc. and pay-TV provider Dish Network Corp. said today they reached a settlement in their lawsuit over AMC's claim that Dish wrongfully terminated their contract for high-definition television programming.
The settlement includes a return of AMC's networks and award-winning shows like "Mad Men" and "Breaking Bad" to Dish's viewers today. Dish had dropped AMC's channels in July.
Cablevision Systems Corp., AMC's former owner, sued Dish in 2008 over a now-defunct HD satellite TV service called Voom, claiming Dish breached a 15-year contract to offer the service to its 14 million TV subscribers. AMC sought $2.4 billion in damages. A jury trial was proceeding in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan.
Dish will pay $700 million to Cablevision and AMC and enter into a long-term distribution agreement with AMC to carry AMC, IFC, Sundance Channel and WE tv, according to a statement.
Cablevision claimed that it spent $103 million on Voom in 2006. Dish said that figure included corporate overhead expenses and that the contract stipulated the money must be spent on programming. The legal dispute was over the meaning of the contractual phrase "on the service" in relation to spending.
Cable provider Comcast Corp. and DirecTV are the largest U.S. pay-TV companies. Dish is the third largest U.S. pay-TV service.