Well this sucks.
DENVER - The owner of The Dish Network said Thursday it pulled the
Outdoor Life Network from its system after the cable channel failed to
provide NHL games to the nation's second-largest satellite television
EchoStar Communications Corp. spokesman Marc Lumpkin said the network
did not show games on Oct. 10-11 and on Monday and Tuesday as
advertised. "We were not given advance notice that they would not show
the programming," he said.
Although best known for broadcasting the Tour de France and cyclist
Lance Armstrong, OLN this fall took over broadcasting National Hockey
League games on cable from ESPN, a unit of The Walt Disney Co.
"We are surprised and disappointed that Dish has unilaterally chosen
to stop providing OLN to its customers, and denied fans the
opportunity to watch sports coverage on OLN," spokeswoman Amy Phillips
The contract dispute between EchoStar and OLN revolves around OLN's
placement in a higher-priced channel package by Dish Network, which is
distributed to fewer viewers.
OLN, owned by cable giant Comcast Corp., set a requirement that the
channel must be seen by 40 percent of a cable or satellite TV system's
viewers in order for it to broadcast the NHL games. It said the Dish
Network has failed to meet that requirement.
Lumpkin declined to comment on the specifics of the dispute.
EchoStar would have to move the channel from its top package to a
lower-cost package that may have fewer channels but more viewers. That
would raise the fees Dish Network viewers pay.
"We work hard to provide choice for customers and to keep prices low,"
Eric Sahl, an EchoStar senior vice president, said in a statement.
"Most of our customers have made the decision they do not want to pay
the additional cost of watching the channel."
EchoStar hasn't been afraid to take on networks before. In March 2004,
it pulled Viacom Inc. programming including MTV, the Comedy Channel
and Nickelodeon from the Dish Network for two days until an
agreement was struck on a long-term contract.
Based in suburban Englewood, EchoStar's Dish Network has about 11.4
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