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Dish, Lifetime Reach Carriage Pact

Feb 1, 2006  •  Post A Comment

The monthlong stalemate between EchoStar Communications and Lifetime Entertainment Services ended Wednesday when the companies reached a multiyear agreement that returns Lifetime and Lifetime Movie Network to the satellite operator’s lineup.

Neither side provided details of the agreement, which came after a standoff in which EchoStar removed Lifetime and Lifetime Movie Network from its Dish Network service over the New Year’s weekend.

Both sides had waged a public battle over the programming costs associated with EchoStar carrying the Lifetime channels.

EchoStar officials claimed that Lifetime was looking for a 76 percent increase in its per-sub rates — which Lifetime officials denied repeatedly — and removed the channels after failing to reach an agreement. The move reduced by 12 million the number of homes passed for Lifetime’s networks.

Lifetime, meantime, lodged a public relations campaign that enlisted the help of several high-profile women’s rights organizations and suggested that several key women’s issues were suffering as a result of the Lifetime channels’ removal from Dish’s lineup.