CNN’s parent company and DISH Network have been locked in a legal battle for well over a year at this point. What makes this dispute extra interesting is the secrecy that has accompanied it. While the legal battle has been ongoing for months, the details surrounding it have been intentionally kept quiet–until now.
U.S. District Court Judge Ronnie Abrams put an end to the secrecy when she refused the request, that came from both DISH and CNN, to keep materials related to the summary judgment motions sealed.
DISH and CNN’s parent company both claim that public disclosure of the agreement that this dispute revolves around would cause significant financial damage and irreparable harm should competitors have access to it. Of course, refusing to seal documents means that anyone (including competitors) can take a look at what is going on. Despite this assertion, Judge Abrams maintains that she will not keep these documents sealed.
According to the Hollywood Reporter Judge Abrams had this to say about her decision: “Should the parties wish to submit alternative proposed redactions more narrowly tailored to the interests they seek to protect, they may submit such proposed redactions to the Court no later than January 30, 2019…However, the parties are advised that … the Court will not shield from the public the key terms of the affiliation agreements, which are critical to adjudicating the pending summary judgment motion.”.
So, what is this case even about? It turns out that this dispute all stems from people watching CNN on airplanes. More details will emerge when the summary papers are released in the next few weeks. It will be interesting to see what this is all about once the veil of secrecy has been removed.