2nd UPDATE, 4:34 PM: This is far from over, ABC says. Dish Network may be claiming a win in today’s split opinion that saw a motion for preliminary injunction by ABC denied but the network says there’s more legal battles to come. Read ABC’s statement here and see Dish’s below:
Today’s ruling is only a preliminary decision and the first step in the judicial process. We continue to firmly believe that DISH’s AutoHop and PrimeTime Anytime services breach our retransmission consent agreement with DISH, infringe upon ABC’s copyrights, and unfairly compete with the authorized on-demand and commercial-free options currently offered by ABC and its licensees.
UPDATE, 1:58 PM: It might have been a split opinion delivered today in federal court for much sued Dish Network’s Hopper service, but the satellite provider is claiming victory. Read the statement I just got from Dish’s EVP and general counsel R. Stanton Dodge:
This decision is yet another victory for American consumers, and we are proud to have stood by their side in this important fight over the fundamental rights of consumer choice and control. This is the third federal court decision that has sided with DISH on consumers’ right to enjoy television as they want, when they want, including the right to skip commercials, if they so choose.
PREVIOUSLY, 12:59 PM: A mixed result was delivered today for Dish Network’s Hopper in federal court. On the one hand, the satellite provider was spared the preliminary injunction requested by ABC against its ad-jumping DVR service. On the other hand, NY-based District Court Judge Laura Taylor Swain Wednesday denied Dish’s motion to deny CBS’ desire to untangle itself from a January 2012 Retransmission Agreement with the provider.
In a filing on January 22 this year, CBS said that it would have never signed the Agreement if it had known that Dish intended to introduce the ad-skipping AutoHop feature to its subscribers later in that year. As has become common in the various Hopper legal cases, the full opinion by Judge Swain is under seal right now as all parties are given the opportunity to removed proprietary and confidential info from the court documents. This latest Hopper twist comes just over a month after 21st Century Fox filed a brief seeking a rehearing after it was also denied an injunction against the Hopper in late July. At present Dish is being pursued legally from all sides by all of the Big 4 networks with CBS and ABC on the East Coast and NBC and Fox on the West Coast.
Deadline's Dominic Patten - tip him here.