DISH Network continues to challenge Lifetime Television to disclose the actual numbers behind its outrageous rate demand so the public can judge for themselves, but Lifetime has refused. Instead, it has accused discrimination and resorted to political theater in an attempt to obscure the real issue -- cost of service.
"We have been unable to reach an agreement, even though we offered a number of options which were ultimately rejected by Lifetime," said Michael Neuman, president of EchoStar. "We recently launched the popular women's channel Oxygen, the only television network owned and operated by women and made for women, as a replacement for Lifetime Movie Network and now Lifetime has made it clear that further talks will not result in fair rates for our customers. DISH Network will permanently replace the Lifetime Channel by month end, and we are in meaningful discussions now with a number of interesting programmers for a compelling replacement to Lifetime."
DISH Network's contract with Lifetime expired Dec. 31, 2005. Consequently, DISH Network was legally prohibited from broadcasting Lifetime and Lifetime Movie Network. Lifetime demanded an exorbitant price increase of 76 percent under the contract term.
"It's unfortunate that Lifetime Television chooses to pressure DISH Network with politics rather than negotiating for fair economics, but their financial demands remain unacceptable as they would lead to unreasonable rate increases for our customers," said Neuman. "DISH Network continues to challenge Lifetime Television to disclose the actual numbers behind its outrageous rate demand so the public can judge for themselves, but Lifetime has refused. Instead, it has accused discrimination and resorted to political theater in an attempt to obscure the real issue -- cost of service."
DISH Network reached reasonable agreements with dozens of other programmers for 319 channels in 2005. Only Lifetime refused to negotiate a fair agreement for DISH Network customers.
DISH Network is pleased to offer Oxygen, Women's Entertainment, Encore Love, HGTV, Food Network, Style TV, E! Entertainment, SoapNet, ABC Family, Travel Channel, Wisdom (Lime), and dozens of other channels that feature information, news, sports and entertainment for and about women. DISH Network will continue to look for an equally appropriate replacement for Lifetime Channel.
In the meantime, DISH Network is offering its customers a free preview of Women's Entertainment Network (WE), Oxygen and Encore Love, all channels that provide similar content formerly found on Lifetime and Lifetime Movie Network.
DISH Network also continues to make available broadcast time for any groups formerly providing important information through Lifetime, and DISH Network has already received positive requests from women's groups for carriage of their announcements.
EchoStar Communications Corporation (NASDAQ:DISH) serves more than 12 million satellite TV customers through its DISH Network(TM), the fastest growing U.S. provider of advanced digital television services in the last five years. DISH Network offers hundreds of video and audio channels, Interactive TV, HDTV, sports and international programming, together with professional installation and 24-hour customer service. Visit EchoStar's DISH Network at www.dishnetwork.com or call 1-800-333-DISH (3474).
EchoStar Communications Corporation
Marc Lumpkin, 303-723-2010