News Corp.’s Fox Broadcasting unit asked for a court order to block new “on-the-go” features of Dish Network Corp.’s Hopper set-top boxes that allow consumers to watch live and recorded TV shows on smartphones and tablets.
Fox sought a preliminary injunction yesterday in federal court in Los Angeles. Fox alleges the new services breach its license agreement with Dish and infringe the network’s copyrights.
“Paying Dish for a satellite television subscription does not buy anyone the right to receive Fox’s live broadcast signal over the Internet or to make copies of Fox programs to watch ‘on the go,’ because Dish does not have the right to offer these services to its subscribers in the first place,” Fox said in the filing.
Fox last year failed to persuade a federal judge to block Dish’s AutoHop service that lets viewers automatically skip the ads in recorded primetime television shows. The network appealed that decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco, which hasn’t ruled on the issue.
The new features in the second-generation Hopper set-top box send live broadcast signals over the Internet to subscribers’ personal computers and mobile devices and also allow subscribers to copy recorded programs from the digital video recorder to their iPads, Fox said.
Bob Toevs, a spokesman for Englewood, Colorado-based Dish Network, didn’t immediately return a call yesterday after regular business hours seeking comment on Fox’s filing.
A hearing on Fox’s request is set for March 22, according to yesterday’s filing.
The case is Fox Broadcasting Co. v. Dish Network LLC, 12-04529, U.S. District Court, Central District of California (Los Angeles.)