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TRO issued against DIRECTV in HDNET v. DIRECTV case

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by Doug Brott, Nov 14, 2007.

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  1. Nov 14, 2007 #1 of 194
    Doug Brott

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    On Monday, November 12th the Judge Presiding, Judge Teresa Guerra Snelson, issued a Temporary Restraining Order in the case against DIRECTV. The Plaintiff, HDNet, argued in a TRO application that DIRECTV was moving HDNet's channels into obscurity and would cause an immediate and irreparable impact to HDNet.

    As part of the TRO, the court finds that HDNet has established the elements necessary for temporary injunctive relief. DIRECTV has been temporarily enjoined from engaging in the following acts:
    Charging subscribers that receive television-programming services in any high definition format from DIRECTV any additional fees beyond the "HD Access" fee for the inclusion of HDNet and HDNet Movies as part of their subscription.

    It has been ordered that a hearing will be held on December 7, 2007 at 10:00am in Dallas. It has been further ordered that that HDNet submit a $100,000 bond which should adequately protect the interests of DIRECTV. The remainder of the TRO request has been denied.

     
  2. Nov 14, 2007 #2 of 194
    Earl Bonovich

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    Considering that the HD Extra Pack, doesn't go into affect until 12/15...

    The hearing on the 7th will be the intresting one.
     
  3. Nov 14, 2007 #3 of 194
    Doug Brott

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    Indeed Earl .. I agree
     
  4. Nov 14, 2007 #4 of 194
    flipptyfloppity

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    Not surprising. The endless rehash on here did seem to indicate pretty strongly that there was a valid legal question here and it affects HDNet greatly.

    This will give the courts a bit more time to investigate a little further and try to untangle the legalese in the contract (which is surely there, even though we didn't see the original contract).
     
  5. Nov 14, 2007 #5 of 194
    JonVig

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    Isn't HDNet obscure already?
     
  6. Nov 14, 2007 #6 of 194
    dwilliam_houston

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    Since FoodNetworkHD and HGTVHD have completely different programming than their SD counterparts I would think that based on Directv's arguement that they would have to be moved to the HDExtraPack as would any other channel that is different than its SD counterpart. Eitherway I have signed up for the new pack so I plan on getting all of it anyway but I think their argument needs to be consistent if it is going to have chance to stand-up.
     
  7. Nov 14, 2007 #7 of 194
    man_rob

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    If the hearing happens on the 7th. Court dates are often changed for various reasons.
     
  8. Nov 14, 2007 #8 of 194
    jjohns

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    Ouch!
     
  9. Nov 14, 2007 #9 of 194
    jahgreen

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    Not preliminary injunction hearings. A TRO must be very limited in time.
     
  10. Nov 14, 2007 #10 of 194
    csgo

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    I invite everyone to read DirecTV's response on this matter. What a pack of lies!

    Were you aware that we've been receiving HD programming for FREE? The "HD Access fee" we pay is for "technology or equipment". What a bunch of BS.

    I'm happy that the judge saw thru the scumbag lies DirecTV filed with the court.
     
  11. Nov 14, 2007 #11 of 194
    say-what

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    And you are receiving the HD programming for no extra charge - every HD channel added that is covered by your underlying subscription does not result in any additional fees, hence they are added for free.

    Regardless of what it was called in the past or is called in the future, that 9.99 fee has always been more about paying for DirecTV's new Sats and equipment than programming, or did you think it really cost 9.99 for the 9 or 10 channels we used to have?
     
  12. Nov 14, 2007 #12 of 194
    F1 Fan

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    They dont state that. They say that they have SD counterparts (predominantly simultcast) to be in the HD Access.

    I have just 3 problems with Directv's answer (all in a sworn affadavit).

    1. They state that in Feb 2007 they discontinued the HD Package and introduced the HD Access fee which gave you access to the HD versions of your channels in your package, plus they carried on with HDNET for "free". So we all paid $9.99 for ESPN and ESPN2 HD?????? Everything else was free (lets for sake of argument leave out the premiums). And what of those on the Family plan? They paid $9.99 for no channels. Apparantly we got all the others free (though not specifically mentioned in the case).

    2. They have still not answered the main fact that HD Theatre is in the base package - I appreciate it could be linked to an SD counterpart, but then all they have to do is say which one. Edit: this was part of HD NETs claim and should be answered - every other part has been answered in detail but this is not mentioned.

    3. They state that the HD Access fee is a technology fee and included services such as On Demand. So I can assume that H10/20 owners etc will have this when it comes out of beta? That is deceiving as you have to have a DVR for it and so should be in a DVR fee not an HD fee. I know it is a free service but dont throw smokescreens up in court that are not correct.

    I also have a general nagging problem that this is a smokescreen too. If you have an HD Package at $10.99 and then decide to reduce the price on it - dont change its name to something else too and say it is the same thing as before but we just discontinued it for a while. Smacks of grasping at straws a bit. Giving them the benefit of the doubt, at best it looks to me that there was some very poor planning and decision making in the Programming and Acquistions department.
     
  13. Nov 14, 2007 #13 of 194
    Sirshagg

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    From the consumer side (us) it does seem like BS. But in this context is looks to be a good and fair arguement. I think the most problematic part for D* will be the various channels (HD Theatre, Food, HG) that are included with HD Access but either have no corresponding SD channel or do not exactly match the SD channel.
     
  14. Nov 14, 2007 #14 of 194
    F1 Fan

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    Food and HGTV do have an SD counterpart. They stated that it didnt have to be a simultcast. most other providers also put these two in the "access" type packages.

    The argument is still there over HD Theatre. Directv can argue easily it is Dtimes or one of those, but it hasnt and I think it needs to be addressed as it was a main point in the case. As HDNET got its TRO then we will have to wait until Dec 7th to see what they say about it.
     
  15. Nov 14, 2007 #15 of 194
    Earl Bonovich

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    I wouldn't call the programming on FOOD-HD and HGTV-HD "completely" different. Different Schedule: Yes; but the content is basically the same as their SD networks.

    At the end of the day... IMHO it is going to boil down on to how FOOD, HGTV, Discovery ect... calculate their rates for the programming.

    Do they get "extra" if someone has the HD version or not... or is based on the base SD channel subscription rate.
     
  16. Nov 14, 2007 #16 of 194
    csgo

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    I didn't take a side on this issue until I read the garbage claimed by DirecTV.

    The agreement is in plain language... not legalese. The way I read it (which makes no difference) HDNet just wanted to stay in the HD package, but DirecTV wants to put into the extra package.

    If the judge enforces the agreement as written DirecTV will lose even worse than what HDNet had wanted. HDNet will have to be part of whatever the most popular base package DirecTV offers that has HD channels.

    Now that would be funny! Hope it happens.
     
  17. Nov 14, 2007 #17 of 194
    jimb726

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    As funny as it may seem, I imagine there will be a lot of complaining when the fee goes from 9.99 to 14.99 or 19.99. It wont be so funny then.
     
  18. Nov 14, 2007 #18 of 194
    MikeR

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    Based on the fact that they were not placed in the Extra Pack, I'd think that Food, HGTV, etc allowed carriage of the HD channel without additional cost to Directv.

    The problem (for me) with the agrument is the HD Package, HD Access, and Extra Pack all accomplish the same thing....cover the cost to carry HDNet, HD Theater, MGM, etc.

    You can call them different things, but they are the same.

    Fewer channels required $9.99 -10.99, more channels now requires $14.98 for Directv to make a profit on carriage of these channels.

    So...because they are technically defined differently does the court side with Directv or
    because they are not different, and Extra Pack is a different tier (Tier 1 ($9.99) + Tier 2 (4.99)) side with HDNet?
     
  19. Nov 14, 2007 #19 of 194
    Ken S

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    Well, that explains the notes in their database on the 12th including the bond.
    If I were DirecTV I'd spend the next couple of weeks working out a settlement with HDNet. Generally, a Judge issuing a TRO is sending a strong message about his beliefs on the case.

    DirecTV's best shot is with a judge...they don't want to try and make this argument to a jury...it won't fly.

    But then again...never underestimate how hard-headed some executives can be.
     
  20. Nov 14, 2007 #20 of 194
    F1 Fan

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    You do realize that IF it happens it wont be funny to us? We will be FORCED a price increase to cover the cost. You think D* is going to pay HDNET and not pass it on to us? They require $1.37 per sub from D*. So you can look at HD Access going up $1.50.
     
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