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Hearst-Agyle, EchoStar Strike Carriage Agreement

Jan 10, 2006  •  Post A Comment

Hearst-Argyle Television said Monday that it reached a new retransmission consent agreement with satellite operator EchoStar Communications, a move that appears to signal that the broadcaster moved ahead with a deal with EchoStar even as Lifetime and EchoStar battle over a new carriage agreement.

In carriage agreements with pay TV distributors, Hearst-Argyle and Lifetime have customarily negotiated new carriage agreements together, leveraging on both operations’ presence in the broadcast and cable worlds. However, Lifetime and EchoStar are at odds over a new carriage agreement, which came to a head at the end of the year, when EchoStar removed Lifetime and Lifetime Movies from its lineup.

In a filing submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission Friday, Hearst-Argyle said that the deal it struck with EchoStar began Jan. 1 and expires Nov. 30, 2008, and features cash consideration from EchoStar, though the company refused to disclose how much beyond saying the amount will be less than 1.5 percent of 2006 estimated revenue.