Dish takes action over Univision’s Facebook streaming

Dish Network has launched legal action over a streaming deal between rival US pay-television provider Univision Deportes and social media platform Facebook.

In February, Facebook and Univision Deportes agreed to stream selected live matches from the broadcaster’s coverage of Liga MX, the top tier of club football in Mexico, free of charge on Facebook.

However, according to Cablefax, Dish has said in a lawsuit that the deal is in conflict with its own affiliate agreement with Univision.

Dish said that the agreement prohibits Univision from “allowing linear services to be distributed for free via the internet or a wireless cellular provider.”

North American Major League Soccer coverage on Dish is broadcast in Spanish while the Facebook games are streamed live in Spanish, but Dish said that the broadcasts are essentially the same and, as such, the company is hoping to secure a permanent injunction to retain such arrangements.

The lawsuit added: “It has undermined the value of Dish’s licensing and distribution deal with the Univision Entities, by making covered content available for free through a third-party distributor. And it has and will undoubtedly cost Dish profits and the goodwill of its subscribers and potential subscribers, who are less likely to purchase Dish services or the necessary subscriptions to access its Liga MX content, since games can be viewed for free on the internet or through a wireless cellular provider.”

In March, Facebook also agreed a deal for at least 22 matches during the 2017 Major League Soccer season that were scheduled to be broadcast on Univision networks in Spanish to be made available in the US for live streaming on the broadcaster’s official Facebook page.