Advanced Television

Dish defence in VOOM case is “lies”

October 16, 2012

The gloves are coming off in the €2.4 billion battle in a New York courtroom between Cablevision/VOOM and EchoStar/DISH. Lawyer Orin Snyder, acting for Cablevision, told Judge Richard Lowe III that this past weekend’s enforced release of documents held by EchoStar showed that “the entire defense is a massive fraud. I am not mincing words,” he stated. “They’re lies.”

Judge Lowe had ordered EchoStar to make available to the plaintiffs certain computer hard drives which were then subject to a forensic examination, and which – stated Mr Snyder – showed that the previous destruction by EchoStar of evidence, already heavily criticised by the judge, was “more pervasive” than previously understood.

Snyder’s comments, reported in detail by Law 360 which is covering the case closely, said that new documents turned up by the forensic examination, including emails and memos sent to Dish Chairman Charles Ergen, showed that the defense’s version of the case’s central issues — whether Dish was wrong to drop Cablevision’s Voom HD channels just two years into a 15-year deal after claiming that Cablevision hadn’t spent enough money on them — were lies.

Back in 2010 during pre-trial hearings, Judge Lowe ruled that he’d tell jurors to make an adverse or negative inference about the documents’ destruction because Dish had “systematically destroyed evidence in direct violation of the law and in the face of a ruling by a federal court that criticized EchoStar for the same bad-faith conduct as EchoStar’s conduct in the instant action.”

Voom’s case, in essence, is that EchoStar cancelled a 15-year contract after 2 years. EchoStar’s defense is that Voom was not spending the contracted $100 million a year on programming for the channels.

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Categories: Articles, DTH/Satellite, Policy, Regulation