TV One has exclusive rights to the telecast of the Essence Music Festival and they are suing BET and MTV for unaurthorized airing of the broadcast, according to The Hollywood Reporter. TV One was scheduled to air the latest music festical in late June, but says BET aired performances from the previous year a week before their anticipated broadcast. They claimed BET’s airing of the previous year interuppted with their upcoming broadcast.

For television rights, TV One says it spent $500,000 in 2010 and $750,000 in 2011. In addition, the network says it spent up to $1.5 million to produce the show. According to the Reporter,

“TV One says under its contract, it held exclusive rights to exhibit and broadcast the 2010 show until August 29, 2014. In addition, the agreement is said to have barred Essence Productions, the licensor, from allowing other networks targeting African American audiences to exhibit its show.”

The network is asking for injunctive relief and damages for copyright infringement, tortious interference, and further violations of California business code.

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