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DirecTV sues Lifetime over Dishnetwork contract


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57 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   lee1203

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Posted 24 March 2006 - 03:23 AM

Satellite television provider DirecTV Group Inc. has sued Lifetime Entertainment Services, saying the women's cable network reneged on a deal to lure customers from rival EchoStar Communications Corp.

In a lawsuit filed Wednesday in Los Angeles federal court, DirecTV accused Lifetime of retracting a Jan. 30 offer it had sent to about 30,000 customers of EchoStar Communications Corp.'s Dish Network promising $200 if they would switch. DirecTV accuses Lifetime of breach of contract.

In January, Lifetime "approached DirecTV with the idea of offering a group of Dish Network customers a $200 check if they would switch to DirecTV," the complaint said. The offer "was primarily directed to lure away customers of the Dish Network."

DirecTV says it didn't know that Lifetime was negotiating a new agreement with EchoStar at the same time. Lifetime retracted its offer for the EchoStar customers Feb. 3, DirecTV said.

In addition, Lifetime breached its Jan. 8 contract with DirecTV by giving EchoStar better terms than DirecTV, according to the lawsuit.

Lifetime executives declined to comment. Robert Mercer, a spokesman for El Segundo-based DirecTV, didn't return a call to his office.


http://www.latimes.c...dlines-business


http://www.multichan.../CA6318659.html

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#2 OFFLINE   newsposter

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Posted 24 March 2006 - 08:33 AM

The part i dont get, is why it's illegal for one provider to get better terms than the other. Isn't this a free market?

#3 OFFLINE   Greg Bimson

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Posted 24 March 2006 - 08:47 AM

Yes, but not when your contract states your company will get best pricing when compared to smaller companies. So, if Lifetime offers Dish Network better pricing than DirecTV contractually, then DirecTV can sue via the terms of the contract to obtain better pricing than Dish Network received.

#4 OFFLINE   Geronimo

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Posted 24 March 2006 - 09:11 AM

Yes, but not when your contract states your company will get best pricing when compared to smaller companies. So, if Lifetime offers Dish Network better pricing than DirecTV contractually, then DirecTV can sue via the terms of the contract to obtain better pricing than Dish Network received.



It does not have to be a smaller company. Such clauses are common and occasionally lead to disputes about which deal is "better."

FWIW our federal government usually insists on getting the most favorable prices when it buys commercial items.
I never cared for all the signatures that insult posters with other points of view.

#5 OFFLINE   tomcrown1

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Posted 24 March 2006 - 10:13 AM

Can echostar sue both lifetime and direct tv for using a bribe to loure customer away from echostar???
Welcome to Dish the new AT&T

:) life is to to to short so be???

#6 OFFLINE   Curtis0620

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Posted 24 March 2006 - 10:37 AM

Can echostar sue both lifetime and direct tv for using a bribe to loure customer away from echostar???


They wouldn't dare. They did the same thing with Primestar conversions. Probably even more deceptive.

#7 OFFLINE   DoyleS

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Posted 24 March 2006 - 10:50 AM

I wonder how DTV found out the pricing that Dish received. I wouldn't think this is public info. What is the best price today may not be the best price tomorrow. It is a little like buying the latest receiver today at a lowest price of the year sale and then a month later your neighbor buys the same receiver for less. Welcome to the free market system.

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#8 OFFLINE   Reggie3

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Posted 24 March 2006 - 11:01 AM

Wow - this is more fun than a soap show.

#9 OFFLINE   Larry Caldwell

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Posted 24 March 2006 - 11:56 AM

Can echostar sue both lifetime and direct tv for using a bribe to loure customer away from echostar???


In the USA, you can sue anyone for anything. The problem is winning. I think DirecTV just wants Lifetime to pony up the full $6,000,000 they committed to promote DTV.

Charlie played hardball with Lifetime. Lifetime countered with some really ugly tactics, including badmouthing Dish Network in newspaper ads and on billboards. Charlie held his line, and Lifetime blinked.

DirecTV is owned by investors. Bean counters are normally pretty timid, and will avoid controversy. Charlie still owns enough of Echostar to have control of the company, and by all accounts he is not a man you want to get crosswise with. He ended up negotiating better terms because he had a stronger negotiating position.

If Lifetime guaranteed lowest pricing to DTV, then DTV stands to save some money. It looks like Lifetime is going to take it in the shorts, but that's what they get for trying to play the feminist card in a business environment. It may play in Congress, but it means nothing to TV viewers.

#10 OFFLINE   the_bear

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Posted 24 March 2006 - 12:07 PM

Did D agree to the $200? Liftime has between the time they made the original solicitation until the mutual promise to finish their disclosure of material facts. A low price guaranty is a pretty serious concession to make for Lifetime. This isn’t Circuit City we are talking about. No doubt D was paying a pretty penny for the channel.

#11 OFFLINE   UnnDunn

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Posted 24 March 2006 - 12:13 PM

Is there any chance of a disruption of Lifetime service on DirecTV as a result of this action? Could it result in a potracted PR war between Lifetime and DirecTV?

#12 OFFLINE   Geronimo

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Posted 24 March 2006 - 12:15 PM

We know very little about this. I assume that the calculation of $6,000,000 is based on assuming that 30,000 would all accept the offer. I doubt that that would be the case.


We do not know the facts of any agreement between D* and Lifetime on this promotion nor do we even know what carriage agreement Lifetime struck with either provider--and if the D* deal rally contained language that it could be no no higher than other deals how is the E* deal "better"?

Many of these suits are eventually settled out of court. But I would not take PR releases or law suits at face value.

I do however think it is inaccurate to describe the current management of DirecTV as "timid". And I have never heard it said that Rupert murdoch or Newscorp (who control DirecTV) avoid controversy. But I suppose that we are all entitled to an opinion on that score.
I never cared for all the signatures that insult posters with other points of view.

#13 OFFLINE   Charise

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Posted 24 March 2006 - 01:21 PM

Wow - this is more fun than a soap show.


Totally agree!!! :hurah: I guess D* is anti-woman now?! (Uh, that's a joke, because I didn't go for Lifetime's rant that E* was against women.)

Waiting for Lifetime's next move... :rolleyes:

#14 OFFLINE   jakattak

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Posted 24 March 2006 - 01:40 PM

DirecTV says it didn't know that Lifetime was negotiating a new agreement with EchoStar at the same time.


I'm calling BS! There is no way on Earth D* didn't realize there was a pricing negotiation going on between E* and Lifetime during January. People get paid big bucks to know everything they can about what's going on with the competition and even us lowly folks on dbstalk knew this was going on.

#15 OFFLINE   harsh

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Posted 24 March 2006 - 01:47 PM

Is there any chance of a disruption of Lifetime service on DirecTV as a result of this action? Could it result in a potracted PR war between Lifetime and DirecTV?

The difficulty that D* may have is that they have fewer tiers to bury the content in than Dish did. I predict that it will indeed be nasty and Lifetime will sustain major damage (both regular and punitive).

I especially like the "you promise to screw my competitor(s)" clause. We must not lose site of the fact that this is a battle in the D* versus E* war and after the lawyers are done, the accountants will bayonet the wounded.

#16 OFFLINE   Kheldar

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Posted 24 March 2006 - 01:52 PM

The difficulty that D* may have is that they have fewer tiers to bury the content in than Dish did.


Since when?
E* has: AT60, AT120, and AT180.
D* has: Total Choice Select, Total Choice, Total Choice Plus.

That looks like the same number of tiers to me.

#17 OFFLINE   homeskillet

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Posted 24 March 2006 - 02:31 PM

E* has: DishFamily, AT60, AT60 Plus, AT 120, AT 180, AT Everything Pack and 5 levels in the Spanish package, and 4 levels on the HD package.

#18 OFFLINE   David_Levin

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Posted 24 March 2006 - 02:55 PM

Wow - this is more fun than a soap show.


Yep.
Dish has the ca-hones to hold out for a better deal, then DirecTV complains.

The game goes both ways, and Direct shouldn't have been trying to take advantage in the first place.
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#19 OFFLINE   army1

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Posted 24 March 2006 - 03:13 PM

E* has: DishFamily, AT60, AT60 Plus, AT 120, AT 180, AT Everything Pack and 5 levels in the Spanish package, and 4 levels on the HD package.



and don't forget the al-carte channels of the wb and upn that D refuses
to carry
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#20 OFFLINE   Curtis0620

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Posted 24 March 2006 - 03:19 PM

Yep.
Dish has the ca-hones to hold out for a better deal, then DirecTV complains.

The game goes both ways, and Direct shouldn't have been trying to take advantage in the first place.


It's not like Dish wouldn't have done the same thing.




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