EchoStar Drops Outdoor Life from Dish Network Package

Oct 20, 2005  •  Post A Comment

EchoStar Communications on Thursday said it dropped Outdoor Life Network from its Dish Network programming package, charging that the Comcast-owned network was demanding higher payments because it had added National Hockey League games to its lineup. “We work hard to provide choice for our customers and keep prices low,” said Eric Sahl, senior VP of programming for EchoStar in a statement. “Most of our customers have made the decision they do not want to pay the additional cost of watching that channel.” EchoStar said it will replace OLN by adding College Sports TV, NFL Network and ESPNU for free for some subscribers.

OLN, which had about 3 million subscribers, said in a statement that, “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.”

An industry insider said a Comcast negotiating team had just completed a meeting at EchoStar’s headquarters in Denver when the satellite provider announced its decision to drop the network.

“We are also disappointed that EchoStar cut off the ongoing discussions with OLN that were designed to bring OLN’s great programming to Dish customers,” OLN said in a statement. “Fortunately, those customers do have the ability to explore other cable and satellite options that carry OLN.”