VOOM Files New Complaint in DISH/HD Skirmish

VOOM, the high-def programming entity that's part of Cablevision's Rainbow Media entity, last week filed an amended complaint with the New York State Supreme Court targeting DISH Network and its dropping of VOOM HD networks last month.

The complaint seeks damages that VOOM said are in excess of $1 billion. The litigation alleged breach of contract for DISH's "improper and wrongful" termination of the distribution agreement between the companies.

VOOM also stated in the court document that the affiliation agreement between the companies is a "valid and enforceable contract." The suit further stated that VOOM performed its obligations under the companies' agreement.

As for DISH's assertion that VOOM hadn't satisfied spending requirements for programming expenditures, VOOM said that provision "would not have constituted a material breach of the contract." As part of the deal between the companies, VOOM was required to spend money annually on its programming lineup.

In addition, DISH's move to place the VOOM channels on a less-penetrated programming tier violated the companies' agreement, stated the legal action.

"EchoStar should be held to the deal it made," stated the suit. "EchoStar had no right to terminate the affiliation agreement on the basis of a trumped-up and pretextual claim of breach simply because it no longer liked the deal it struck."

As of press time, DISH had no comment on the litigation.