HDNet wins first leg of U.S. lawsuit against DirecTV

Dallas (TX) - A US District Court has temporarily prohibited DirecTV from moving HDNet and HDNet Movies to a new, more expensive programming package, a decision that may become permanent as early as next month.

DirecTV’s current programming plans include the option to receive all HD channels for around an extra $10 per month. However, earlier this year it announced that another tier would be created, and customers would need to pay yet another $5/month to get HDNet, HDNet Movies, and Universal HD.

Earlier this month, HDNet filed a lawsuit against the satellite provider, claiming the move would irreperably damage its viewer base. DirecTV said the suit was without merit, but US District Court Judge Teresa Snelson disagreed.

In her ruling, Snelson said the programming switch "will probably suffer imminent and irreparable harm because of a loss of customers, irreparable damage to its goodwill, programming and business unless this temporary restraining order is entered," according to trade publication Multichannel News.

Therefore, DirecTV must keep HDNet and HDNet Movies under its basic HD package until December 10. However, the satcaster did not even plan on switching the services until December 15. The two battling parties will meet in court on December 7, when HDNet will formally present its case for a permanent restraining order.

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