May 29, 2009 / 9:06 PM / 10 years ago

Solicitor-General sides with Cablevision on DVR

* Solicitor-General supports Cablevision DVR ruling

* Cablevision to start on remote DVR in summer

NEW YORK, May 29 (Reuters) - The U.S. Solicitor General has sided with Cablevision Systems Corp CVC.N in the cable operator’s long-running dispute with several program-makers over the roll-out of its network-based video recorder.

Solicitor General Elena Kagan on Friday denied plaintiffs including Time Warner Inc’s TWX.N, News Corp (NWSA.O), CBS Corp (CBS.N) and Walt Disney Co (DIS.N), their petition for a Supreme Court hearing.

The media companies have argued that Cablevision’s proposed service — which, like TiVo Inc’s (TIVO.O), would allow viewers to record any program on TV — would infringe the copyrights of the movies and television programs they produce. They had been hoping to overturn a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals in New York which would allow Cablevision subscribers to record and play back programs on the remote system based within Cablevision’s own cable plant.

Cablevision is already making plans to move ahead with a summer trial of the so-called remote-storage DVRs. The cable company is keen on launching the new service which it believes could eventually save it millions of dollars required to buy and install thousands of physical DVR boxes for customers every year.

Other cable operators like Time Warner Cable Inc TWC.N and Comcast Corp (CMCSA.O) are keeping a close eye on the case which could also save them tens of millions of dollars in capital spending. Cable set top boxes and DVR boxes take the biggest share of most cable companies’ capital expenditure.

“We’re obviously pleased with the Solicitor General’s recommendation and continue to believe in the legality of remote-storage DVRs, as validated by the unanimous Second Circuit decision,” the company said in prepared statement.

Cablevision, which serves over 3 million customers in the New York metropolitan area, first announced the plans for the RS-DVR in 2006.

Reporting by Yinka Adegoke; Editing by Richard Chang

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