Cable Operators

EchoStar Sues Mediacom for Signal Theft

4/06/2004 10:16 AM Eastern

EchoStar Communications Corp. has filed a federal lawsuit accusing Mediacom Communications Corp. of stealing its direct-broadcast satellite signals, AP reported.

The DBS provider claimed that the MSO used a residential account to acquire the signals and deliver local affiliate programming from ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox to subscribers in Bainbridge, Ga., AP said.

EchoStar said it discovered satellite dishes around a Mediacom transmitting tower in the area, so it created a unique test pattern shown briefly on all area Dish Network receivers that an investigator videotaped on two Mediacom subscribers’ TV sets. The two subscribers did not receive Dish service.

EchoStar asked a federal judge to bar Mediacom from accessing its signal and to award monetary and punitive damages for violations of federal laws governing airwaves transmission and copyrights, AP reported.

The DBS company is seeking a jury trial.

September