Hallmark Reaches EchoStar Deal

Mar 8, 2007  •  Post A Comment

Crown Media Holdings, owner of the Hallmark Channel, reached a multi-year distribution agreement with EchoStar Communications that puts it on a new service tier with the satellite-TV provider.

Hallmark Channel will move to the AT200 package on EchoStar’s Dish Network satellite service beginning in April. That will increase Hallmark Channel’s distribution on the service to more than 80 million subscribers from 76.2 million currently.

The Hallmark Movie Channel will be carried on Dish’s AT250 package, increasing total distribution to more than 5 million subscribers.

This year about 80 percent of Crown Media’s distribution deals with cable and satellite operators expire. Those deals carried relatively low subscriber fees. Maintaining distribution and increasing those fees is a major priority for Crown’s new CEO, Henry Schleiff.

Financial details were not disclosed.

“We are delighted to renew our affiliation agreement for Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movie Channel with EchoStar on such mutually agreeable terms,” Mr. Schleiff said in a statement Thursday.

(Editor: Baumann)