A federal court has sided with St. Paul-based Hubbard Broadcasting in a legal dispute with DirecTV.
The ruling will keep two Hubbard-owned channels -- Ovation and REELZChannel -- coming to DirecTV customers. The channels have only been around since 2006. But the judge's order was based on a contract the companies signed 16 years ago, when a Hubbard subsidiary merged with DirecTV. The agreement gave the Hubbard family the "right to distribute" up to three channels over the satellite system, provided the programming met a set of criteria.
Last year, negotiations between the two companies broke down, and DirecTV threatened to pull REELZChannel off the air. The satellite provider argued the 16-year-old agreement was never intended to last for "generations." But the court disagreed.
In a statement, Hubbard Broadcasting said it was pleased with the ruling and looks forward to moving ahead with negotiations.
DirecTV is considering an appeal to "address the ruling's errors."