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Dominion: Arbitration Ruling A ‘Positive Step’

By | September 14, 2004

      According to Naples, Fla.-based Dominion Video Satellite, a small, U.S.-based, satellite-TV company whose Sky Angel TV service features family-oriented programming, an arbitration panel unanimously found EchoStar Communications [DISH] violated its contract with the company. EchoStar now must pay damages and must come into compliance with an eight-year-old contract between the two DBS operators, Dominion officials said. EchoStar plans to appeal.

      The arbitration panel’s order stems from a breach-of-contract lawsuit filed in April 2003 by Dominion against EchoStar for multiple contract violations by the Littleton, Colo.- based DBS operator after efforts to resolve matters without litigation failed.

      Dominion says it plans to use the order to move forward with plans to expand its multi-channel Sky Angel programming service into more U.S. homes and locations while laying the groundwork to deliver the service internationally. The legal saga was described by Dominion officials as a David and Goliath struggle between a privately owned company and one of the nation’s satellite TV giants.

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