Dish Network has taken Univision, a broadcast television network, to court over Univision’s Facebook streaming of the Liga MX soccer games. In simplistic form, the issue before the District Court in the Southern District of New York, was whether a difference in the telecast language makes the same soccer match into two different telecasts. Univision streamed soccer matches in English on Facebook, and Dish Network provided the same games in Spanish on television. Univision asserts that this is not a problem because the agreement between the two companies was limited to Spanish games. Therefore, in Univision’s view, it is free to provide these matches in English. Additionally, Univision claims that there are other differences, such as the announcers, the commentary, the audio production, audio path, and graphics. Dish Network, however, argues that their rights under the contract do not have these limitations. When Univision moved for a motion to dismiss, U.S. District Court Judge Nathan agreed with Dish Network in a sealed decision and denied Univision’s motion. Until Judge Nathan’s decision is redacted and unsealed, we can only surmise how the contract was interpreted. Nevertheless, and please excuse the puns, is New York contract law shielding Dish Network and preventing Univision from scoring the goal?
This post was originally published on the Cardozo Arts & Entertainment Law Journal website on September 19, 2018. The original post can be accessed via the Archived Link button above.
Dekhtyar, Mariya, "Dish vs. Univision: Is Parol Evidence Rule in the Game?" (2018). AELJ Blog. 173.