Manatt’s Lindsay Conner, a partner in the firm’s Entertainment & Media Practice, spoke with the Daily Journal about the suit recently filed by Fox Broadcasting Co. against Dish Network LLC over a new video-on-demand service that allows subscribers to watch shows without commercials.
As reported by the Daily Journal, Fox claims that Dish’s ad-skipping service infringes on Fox’s copyrights and breaches the distribution contract. In its complaint, Fox said that the service would cause the free broadcast television business model to collapse because advertisers would no longer pay for shows. Other major networks, including CBS and NBCUniversal, also filed suits against Dish, making this the first major legal challenge to ad-skipping technology since 2001.
"Fox's lawsuit makes sense to me," said Conner. "The underlying economic issue is who pays for the creation of content. Studios and networks spend millions of dollars creating content. That's not a viable business model unless someone pays for it."