Dish Makes Plea to Mets Fans

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Seizing an opportunity to siphon New York Mets baseball fans from Time Warner Cable, EchoStar Communications Corp. is offering Dish Network’s “America top 60” package, along with FSN New York and Madison Square Garden Network, at a discounted price.

Time Warner Cable, which serves some 2.4 million New York area subscribers, currently does not offer the two networks because of an ongoing carriage dispute with Cablevision Systems Corp., which owns both regional sports networks. MSGN and FSNY carry a combined 100 New York Mets telecasts.

The offer — good through June 30 even if Time Warner and Cablevision reach an agreement — will give new subscribers Dish’s popular package for $19.99 a month and the two regional sports packages for $5 extra , or $12 off the current price for the combined package, said company executives. Subscribers would have to commit to one-year of Dish Network service.

EchoStar joins DirecTV Inc. — which carries all three RSNs and has been running anti-Time Warner ads in the New York market for weeks — in trying to wrestle away customers from the MSO.

Time Warner executives could not be reached for comment at press time.

In other sports programming news, Cablevision became the latest MSO to launch a tier, debuting a 10-channel sports package priced at $4.95 per month for its iO: Interactive Optimum subscribers.

The available networks: Fox College Sports Atlantic, Central and Pacific; Fuel; Gól TV; The Golf Channel; NBA TV; Outdoor Life Network; The Outdoor Channel; and TVG Network.

Cablevision said the tier is available to customers at the “Family Cable” level or above, and it will require a digital set-top for those subscribers who do not have digital.

Subscribers who have already been receiving Golf and NBA TV in other packages will continue to do so, the company said.

Matt Stump and Mike Reynolds contributed to this story.

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