Dish awarded $4.9 mln in ESPN licensing lawsuit

NEW YORK Thu Feb 28, 2013 3:11pm EST

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NEW YORK Feb 28 (Reuters) - A federal jury in Manhattan on Thursday awarded Dish Network Corp $4.86 million in its lawsuit accusing sports programmer ESPN Inc of breaching a contract by giving better deals to rival distributors.

The award was far less than the $152 million that Dish had sought from ESPN, an affiliate of Walt Disney Co, and comes amid growing friction between distributors and program makers throughout the entertainment industry.

Filed in 2009, the lawsuit centered on the terms of distribution agreements that ESPN had negotiated with Dish and its competitors for channels including ESPN Classic, which shows re-runs of older sports events, and ESPN Deportes, a Spanish language channel.

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