Azteca beats injunction

Gotham court throws out EchoStar application

MEXICO CITY — Azteca America, the No. 3 Spanish-lingo network in the U.S., has overcome a major legal hurdle that would have prevented its continued expansion.

New York’s Southern District Court has thrown out an application by EchoStar for a preliminary injunction preventing cablers from carrying Azteca America, the web said.

EchoStar launched the action claiming that its contract with TV Azteca to run Azteca 13, one of the Mexican broadcaster’s two networks south of the Rio Grande, gave it exclusive rights to all Azteca content in the U.S. until March 2005.

Had the injunction been granted, it could have killed off the embryonic Azteca America, whose affiliates are mainly low-powered, making the web’s presence on local cablers imperative.

Nevertheless, a court action between EchoStar and TV Azteca continues, and the Mexican company is likely to pay some compensation to the DTH platform.

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