Court TV Loses EchoStar Carriage

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Turner Broadcasting said Court TV lost distribution on EchoStar’s Dish Network platform Monday after the programmer and No. 2 U.S. satellite provider couldn’t agree on terms for a new carriage agreement.

The feed for Court TV was pulled at 12:01 ET Monday morning, resulting in a loss of about 12 million subscribers for Court TV, which Turner took over in May.

“We were unable to reach an agreement with EchoStar and, as a result, we had no choice but to discontinue their carriage of Court TV. They were unwilling to pay the standard industry rate for a popular network that is currently ranked in the top 20,” Turner officials said in a prepared statement issued Monday. “We are disappointed with their decision, and hope that we can reach resolution, but in the meantime, our cable operator partners and DirecTV are able to provide this network to Court TV fans.”

EchoStar said Monday that Turner “ceased delivery” of Court TV to Dish Network subscribers after Turner refused to offer a contract extension in order to allow for “continued negotiations.”

“We are working hard to negotiate a fair contract with Turner Networks and Court TV,” EchoStar senior VP or programming Eric Sahl said in a prepared statement. “But we must also protect our customers from unreasonable demands.  It is not fair to ask our customers to pay a DBS premium for a channel owned by the second largest cable operator, Time Warner.”

Turner parent Time Warner paid $735 million in cash in May for Liberty’s 50% stake in Court TV. Time Warner already had owned half of the network.

With the loss of Court TV, EchoStar said it is offering its customers a free preview of A&E’s Biography Channel.

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