Discovery: Dish Does Not Have Right To 'Sling' Its Content To Web

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Discovery Communications counsel Tara Corvo has told the Federal Communications Commission that Dish does not have that company's permission to deliver its channels via the Internet using the DBS provider's new Slingbox-based TV Everywhere app. The app allows subscribers to view the Dish channel lineup on their laptops, iPhones, iPads and Android smart phones.

Dish introduced the Sling-enabled receiver last month, saying that unlike other mobile access devices that limit availability, it "gives consumers 24/7 access to all the live and recorded content included with their Dish Network programming subscription," according to Ira Bahr, chief marketing officer at Dish.

But in a filing with the FCC last week regarding Sky Angel's program-access complaint against Discovery, Corvo said that, while it was not relevant to the complaint, "the fact is that Discovery has not granted Dish the right to distribute its programming service over the Internet."

Sky Angel had pointed to Dish's online delivery of content to make the case that Discovery's content was available via online distribution through Dish, but no longer through Sky Angel, which switched its distribution model from satellite to IPTV two years ago.

Corvo said YouTube users may have shared Discovery content without its knowledge or permission, but said those unauthorized uses do not have any program-access implications. "Like the actions of YouTube users, Dish's implementation of Sling technology is not a question within FCC jurisdiction."

Discovery said it was currently trying to figure out what its next move would be regarding the new Dish delivery of its signals over the net. "Discovery is, of course, considering the implications of the Dish technology and the appropriate manner to resolve those implications, but any such considerations are outside the scope of this proceeding."

Spokespeople for Discovery and Dish both declined to comment.