January 29, 2019
Dish Network, owner/operator of online TV pioneer Sling TV, has filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Univision, the country’s largest Spanish-language TV broadcaster.
The suit, filed Jan. 25 in U.S. District Court in Delaware, alleges Univision’s online TV and related over-the-top video platforms – such as the $9.99 monthly Univision Now and UniMás– are using Dish’s streaming patents without a license.
In an era of OTT video, traditional pay-TV operators are scrambling to offer subscribers and consumers streaming video options – often utilizing licensed third-party technology.
Dish said it informed Univision last July that it needed to pay license fees for patents owned by Move Networks, which Dish/EchoStar acquired in 2011 for $45 million.
The software helps reduce buffering and auto-adjusts video resolution bit-rates depending upon user’s screen size and broadband connection, among other features.
With Dish and Univision currently involved in a carriage fee dispute, Dish also claims Univision offers Univision Now for less than it charges Sling TV subscribers – an allegation Univision denies.
“As we previously informed Dish, we deny that we are in violation of any of its patents. As such, we intend to vigorously defend ourselves against these claims,” Univision said in a statement.