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Discovery: Dish Does Not Have Right To 'Sling' Its Content To Web

Discovery Counsel Tara Corvo has told the FCC that Dish
does not have that company's permission to deliver Discovery's channels via the
Internet using its new Slingbox-based TV Everywhere app. The app allows subscribers
to view the Dish channel lineup on their laptops, iPhones, iPads and
Android smart phones.

Dish introduced the Sling-enabled receiver last month,
saying that unlike other mobile access devices that limited access it
"gives consumers 24/7 access to all the live and recorded content included
with their Dish Network programming subscription," according to Ira Bahr,
chief marketing officer at Dish.

But in a filing with the FCC last week regarding Sky Angel's
program access complaint against Discovery, Corvo said that, while it was
not relevant to the complaint, "the fact is that Discovery has not granted
Dish the right to distribute its programming service over the Internet."

Sky Angel had pointed to Dish's online delivery of
content to make the case that Discovery's content was available via online
distribution through Dish, but no longer through Sky Angel, which switched its
distribution model from satellite to IPTV two years ago.

Corvo said YouTube users may have shared Discovery
content without its knowledge or permission, but said those unauthorized uses
do not have any program access implications. "Like the actions of YouTube
users, Dish's implementation of Sling technology is not a question within
FCC jurisdiction."

Discovery said it was currently trying to figure out what
its next move would be regarding the new Dish delivery of its signals over the
net. "Discovery is, of course, considering the implications of the Dish
technology and the appropriate manner to resolve those implications, but any
such considerations are outside the scope of this proceeding."

Spokespeople for Discovery and Dish both declined to comment.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.