Dish Corrals EastEnders for PPV

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EchoStar Communications Corp.’s Dish Network signed an exclusive agreement with BBC America to air popular BBC soap EastEnders -- which BBCA dropped last September, irritating fans -- on a pay-per-view basis.

Starting June 6, the series will pick up where the last episode left off in September. Dish will broadcast new episodes every week -- four on Sundays and four on Mondays -- at 9 p.m. EST, then replay them Thursdays and Fridays in an all-day format.

Viewers can buy four-episode blocks for $3.95 or buy all of the episodes in a month for $9.95.

BBCA at one time thought it would offer EastEnders -- a long-running serial drama about working-class people in London’s East End, frequently set in a pub called The Queen Vic -- to cable operators on a subscription-video-on-demand basis.

When BBCA dropped the series, citing low ratings, fans organized a protest campaign. On Thursday, one such site, Saveeastenders.com (www.saveeastenders.com), described Dish’s move as “a huge win for EastEnders fans everywhere.”

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