DirecTV Reaches Settlement Agreement With NRTC
DirecTV, the satellite TV unit of Hughes Electronics [NYSE: GMH], announced that it has reached a settlement agreement with the National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative (NRTC) dismissing their claims against each other currently pending in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. The settlement, which also resolves the class-action claims filed against DirecTV by certain NRTC member companies, will not become final until the court approves the settlement.
The principal terms of the settlement, according to DirecTV, include:
— The NRTC and its member companies release DirecTV from all financial damage claims. – DirecTV and the NRTC agree that the term of the DBS distribution agreement which entitles the NRTC to distribute DirecTV programming will end when the DBS-1 satellite (also called DirecTV 1) reaches the end of its useful life or June 30, 2008, whichever comes first.
–The parties have also agreed that DirecTV retains the right to sell disputed premium services in NRTC territories. NRTC will continue to bill and collect for these services.
This settlement does not resolve certain related pending litigation between DirecTVand Pegasus Satellite TV, one of the companies that distributes DirecTV programming through the NRTC.