(Updates with judge in second paragraph.)
June 3 (Bloomberg) -- A federal judge refused to grant Walt Disney Co. an injunction that would prevent satellite television provider Dish Network Corp. from giving its subscribers free access to Disney movies.
U.S. District Judge George Daniels in New York denied the motion by Disney Enterprises Inc. for a preliminary injunction in a one-page order signed June 1 and filed yesterday.
Disney sued Dish, the second-largest satellite TV company, in May, accusing it of distributing Disney movies over the Starz movie channels without charging subscribers an additional premium, as is done with a service such as HBO. Starz is a unit of Liberty Media Corp. Disney accused Dish of copyright infringement.
“Dish Network pays hundreds of millions of dollars for the right to distribute Starz content to our customers, which includes the rights to a number of Disney movies,” Englewood, Colorado-based Dish said May 3 in a statement.
Dish said the contract is between Starz and Disney, and that “we will vigorously defend our rights against any attempt to drag our customers into the middle of their dispute.”
Marc Lumpkin, a spokesman for Dish, said today the company has no comment on the judge’s ruling.
Zenia Mucha, a spokeswoman for Burbank, California-based Disney, didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment.
Disney dropped 68 cents, or 1.7 percent, to $39.38 at 4:15 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. Dish fell 53 cents, or 1.8 percent, to $29.03 in Nasdaq Stock Market trading.
DirecTV, based in El Segundo, California, is the largest satellite TV provider in the U.S.
The case is Disney Enterprises Inc. v. Dish Network LLC, 11-2973, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).
--Editors: Andrew Dunn, Charles Carter
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