In a dispute that shows the perceived value of "premium" content, Disney maintains that it gave Starz access to movies like Toy Story 3 and Alice in Wonderland with the understanding that it would be shown on a premium channel. Dish, in a marketing move, offered Starz free to millions of subscribers through January 2012.
Starz, which is also suing Dish, said it "pleaded" with Dish to stop offering its service as a basic channel because it had received breach of contract notices from movie studios who, like Disney, expected to have their wares shown on a pay TV channel. Dish, in turn, said it's done nothing wrong: "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," the company said in a statement.
- see this Reuters story
Starz light on Netflix; say it'll hold back new series from day-after streaming
Mouse roars: Disney profit up 54 percent; Iger hypes tech possibilities