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Judge: Dish Network Can Show Starz For Free
By Swanni

Washington, D.C. (June 6, 2011) -- Dish Network customers: If you're getting free Starz channels as part of a year-long promotional offer, don't worry, you can still watch them for free.

Reuters reports that a federal judge on Friday denied Walt Disney's bid to stop Dish Network from including such Disney movies as Toy Story 3 and Alice in Wonderland in the offer. The judge did not explain why he was rejecting Disney's request for an injunction.

However, Disney had filed a copyright infringement suit against Dish last month, saying it "devalued" its movies by including them in a giveaway promotional offer. As part of its 30th anniversary, Dish this year has offered Starz movie channels for free, saying its contract with Starz permits it to do so. (The free offer began in February and will last until February 2012 for all Dish customers.)

"Dish Network pays hundreds of millions of dollars for the right to distribute Starz content to our customers, which includes the rights to a number of Disney movies," Dish said last May.

But Disney argued that Starz only has permission to air its films if TV providers carried the channel as a premium.  Starz joined Disney in the battle by filing its own lawsuit against Dish, urging the satcaster to stop the free promotional effort. That lawsuit
is still pending.

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Phillip Swann is president and publisher of TVPredictions.com. He has been quoted in dozens of publications and broadcast outlets, including CNN, Fox News, Inside Edition, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Financial Times, The Associated Press and The Hollywood Reporter. He can be reached at swann@tvpredictions.com or at 703-505-3064.

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