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Judge Rejects Fox Plea to Block Dish

Judge rejects Fox’s request to block Dish’s use of a converter box that can broadcast TV signals to other devices

Dish is on a legal winning streak: For the second time in a week, a broadcaster has been slapped down an attempt to limit what it can do.

On Monday, Los Angeles District Court Judge Dolly M. Gee rejected Fox’s  request to block Dish’s use of a converter box that incorporates Sling technology that can broadcast TV signals to other devices.

Also read: ABC Loses Attempt to Block Dish’s Hopper

Dish calls the technologies “Dish Anywhere” and “Hopper Transfers.” Dish Anywhere uses Sling to allow subscribers to watch their TV remotely online. Hopper Transfer allows certain Hopper DVR recordings to be moved to an iPad where they can be viewed without an Internet connection.

The full ruling remained under seal Monday.

Also read: Dish Reports Net Loss, Decline in Pay-TV Subscribers

A Fox spokesman said the judge’s ruling indicated that while it’s possible that Fox could ultimately prevail, the evidence isn’t overwhelming enough to issue a preliminary injunction to block the technology’s use. Fox said it was working on a response.

TV networks have filed several suits challenging Dish and its AutoHop ad skipping technology, which allows Dish subscribers to skip commercials while watching a show on DVR or online.

Last week in New York, a judge rejected ABC’s attempt to block Dish from using its PrimeTime Anytime service and AutoHop.

Last November, Gee turned down Fox’s request for a preliminary injunction to block Dish’s AutoHop technology.

TV networks say ad skipping could threaten the tradition a commercial-supported TV. They say Dish is acting illegally.

Dish and some consumer groups have replied that the technology only advances technology allowing people to record shows and fast forward through commercials.

Dish general counsel R. Stanton Dodge in a statement said that “Dish is pleased that the Court has sided again with consumer choice.” He said the company would “continue to vigorously defend consumers’ right to choice and control over their viewing experience.”