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Tuesday, January 03, 2006

A Lifetime of Hurt, Thanks to Dish Network

Dish Network is starting the New Year with a bang- but less programming featuring banged-up women.

The first skirmish of 2006 has taken place, as the satellite service has dropped the Lifetime and Lifetime Movie Network channels from its service due to a squabble over rights fees. Now, those twelve million viewers will be without such edgy, highbrow fare as original-only-as-a-technicality TV movie For the Love of a Child and ludicrous drama series Missing.

Oh, the humanity!

EchoStar, Dish Network's parent company, cries that Lifetime had requested an "exorbitant" 76 percent rate hike. Lifetime boo-hoos that it had offered to extend the existing contract through the holidays, but Dish smacked down the offer like an abusive, child support skipping ex-husband featured in a New Movie Monday of your choice.

Dish Network has a history of having an itchy trigger finger when it comes to these negotiations... in fact, a similar skirmish with CBS back in 2004 caused them to temporarily lose all of the Eye-related networks (Nickelodeon, VH-1, MTV, etc)- and to lose me as a subscriber. Well, that, and the fact they wanted to charge me about $400 for an HD receiver (which "received" about 4 HD channels, I might add). But for the purposes of this conversation, it was the CBS thing. Really.

I'm sure the legions of loyal Lifetimers will be howling over this. But it least it gives women a taste of what we sports fans (at least those of us in the NYC metro area) contend with every time one of these regional sports channels are due for a new deal. Blackouts cause much tooth-gnashing among the rank and file among the largely male sports fan populace. Hey, ladies: now it's your turn. Let's see how you like living without Valerie Bertinelli movies for awhile.

1 other geekspeak:

  • Don't forget that Dish Network dropped OLN because of the NHL dispute. Dish remains the cheapest cable or satelite provider for their refusal to pay what the market asks for programming.

    In New York, after the whole deal with Cablevision and the YES Network, Dish remained quiet, and to this day refuses to carry the YES Network for the price they charge. YES has a "most favored nations" clause, which means if they lower the price for Dish, they have to lower the fees for all other carriers. I'll be shocked if Dish carries the Mets new SNY network.

    A few years ago, Echostar had a deal to purchase DirecTV from GM, but the FTC shot it down. Newscorp bought it instead. Imagine how that could have affected networks being blacked out...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:19 PM  

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