If you're one of the 14.1 million Dish Network (DISH) subscribers getting a free year of Starz pay-TV programming, better enjoy it while you can. Both Liberty Media (LCAPA), which owns Starz, and Disney (DIS), which supplies a large portion of Starz's content, are suing Dish for cheapening their products by giving them away.

Dish said in a Los Angeles Times article that it pays hundreds of millions of dollars to Starz for the rights to its programming, so it can do what it wants with it. The Starz suit argues that Dish doesn't have the right to give away its content, and that Dish is using its 30th anniversary promotion to calm customers who were angered by the company's other rate increases, according to the Times.

Consumers could feel the outcome on their monthly bill. Starz normally costs about $13 a month, adding up to $156 a year. Dish, a satellite TV distributor, began offering the complimentary Starz access in February.

Disney's separate suit alleges that Dish's giveaway is hurting the Mouse House's relationship with other carriers of its films.

Adding to the intrigue is the Netflix (NFLX) factor: Dish sees the video-streaming and movie-rental giant as a rival, so it might have introduced the hefty freebie in retaliation for Starz offering its shows and films, including Disney's, through Netflix, unnamed sources said in the story.

Stay tuned, Dish viewers: Just don't expect to stay tuned to Starz without paying up if the suits are successful.



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ONEof2inMURPHYS

Ok...Calm down, Big Unions be suing Wal-Mart that hire people and I know a few that work At Wal mart, that had jobs
in Gallo Winery...making 3 x their current Wal Mart wage...the person(gal) does not complain, 'beats commuting
67 miles'...and asto DISH NET...I bought a German TV feed for my German wife about 2 years ago, I was paying
about $50-60 P/month, cheaper than Comcast was in Modesto (it was over $65 in 2007)...$14 p/mo added to
my bill p/mo! I was working for a County here(SEIU ran too), layoff since July 2009..to save 5 union workers jobs!
16% U3 here/near Murphys CA! My wife just quit a her 3 year job that made $5 K p/mo on April 15 2011. OK!

I'm not always pleased with networks and my wife hates all American Sit Coms as "Strange" hates all sports!
I do just take the Dish Bill in my house and not read it...I knew of the Free Year thing! If it goes away, so be it!
I'm still unemployed thanks to sues/SEIU greed in Ca! Age 58! You think I have passive aggresion< NA! Not me!
Suing does not created jobs or stop excessive greed...gas taxes .60 p/gallon in Cal..all goes to Gov perks! OK!
USAF VET/AA degree...Sane and a Conservative ...never been rich either! I'm part Sioux too, Adieu..ciao...bye! pax

May 04 2011 at 8:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
rtjabell

How does DISH get off giving this promotion and take away local sports from the New York area. They should be investigated, especially when they lock their customers in for two years and then take the very media away their subscribers want. I don't get it or am I getting it.

May 04 2011 at 7:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to rtjabell's comment
hugozoon

msg will not give the programing to dish at a decent price so that cablevision can get the dish subs in the nyc area but most of them are going to fios.

May 04 2011 at 9:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Melanie

I really don't see how any of them are loosing out on profit as many subcribers as there are.

May 04 2011 at 7:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
WILLS

I am on of those that received this perk. Actually, the suit is stupid as if they had not given this programing away, it is certain that I would never buy it. As it stands, I was contemplating getting rid of dish in favor of the (antenna) (as the majority of the programming stinks anyway) and as this was free, I started to watch. They have something, and may have accidentaly discoverd a marketing tool. Suit is counter productive, but than again, most of U.S business are not noted for being the birghtest cats on the fence.

May 04 2011 at 6:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Alex Vallas

I pay over $120 a month for DISH which includes a vast number of stations that I will never watch. So, if Dish wants to give me Starz, which I didn't even know was being offered free, that is great. Actually, I wish we could just buy the stations we want instead of packages that include a lot of junk. I have been a customer of DISH for almost 12 years. I switched to their competitor for two months and it was a nightmare. Fortunately, I was released of my contract without a penalty. B&D auto service. Right on.

May 04 2011 at 6:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
B&D Auto Service

I for one appreciate Dish Network doing something for us. It helps loyalty. Screw Disney, what a bunch of greedy #45#6^%#.

May 04 2011 at 4:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Andrey K

i have no idea what are you guys talking about i have dish Network i have the the Starz for free for one Year and i didn't see a $5.00 increase... so it may not be with everyone because i did see that they packaged got little more expensive but didn't effect me at all

May 04 2011 at 4:26 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
nitamariepa

I called Dish because I questioned the $5.00 price increase as mentioned by Don. I asked what the charge was for and I received the run-a-round - otherwise I never received a direct answer as to what the $5.00 increase was for. It was presented to me that in exchange for the $5.00, I was receiving Starz Channels free. I asked how could it be free if you're charging me $5.00 additional dollars? The answer I received was "but it is free". I responded to that by stating "Then am I safe to assume that come this time next year, when the promotion has expired, I will be re-imbursed the $5.00 a month free fee and my bill will be reduce and I will be bill at the price I was paying before you made your free offer at a cost of $5.00 per month? Again, I was not able to receive a logical answer. I even went as far as to ask the Dish Rep. "Are you telling me that this is a $5.00 processing fee for the free service?" The answer I received was "well, yeah, you are getting it free." If anyone was able to obatin a sensible answer as to exactly what the $5.00 increase in cost was for - please post your knowledge because after my last attempt to have that question clarified - I still can't figure out how, when it is free, I have to pay more than I was paying before they automatically, without my consent, added this so said free service (free channels) to my package. I'd be most grateful.

May 04 2011 at 3:34 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Don Halasz

Dish raised their prices by $5 per month so it really isn't free. The $5 may be going into somebody's pocket but on Dish, NOTHING IF FREE.
Don Halasz
Plano, TX

May 04 2011 at 2:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply