Dish awarded $4.9m in ESPN licensing dispute

A US federal jury has found sports programmer ESPN liable for only one breach-of-contract claim made by Dish Network Corp and awarded Dish $4.86 million – a mere fraction of the more than $152 million it had sought.

In a unanimous verdict, the jury in Manhattan found ESPN liable for breaching a 2005 licensing agreement by allowing rivals to pay lower rates for ESPN Deportes, a Spanish language channel, without extending the same offer to Dish.

But the jury rejected most of Dish’s central claims that ESPN, an affiliate of Walt Disney, had breached its contract by giving better deals to rival distributors.

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