EchoStar Dishes Out Documentary

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The Documentary Channel, dedicated to independent documentary films, has launched on EchoStar Communication Corp.’s Dish Network, officials said Tuesday.

The 24-hour channel debuted Monday on Dish. It will be available, as a public-interest network, to those who subscribe, at the very least, to the direct-broadcast satellite provider’s “America’s Top 60” package.

The new channel is offering documentaries of all genres -- classic to cutting-edge, from independent filmmakers around the globe -- uncut and commercial-free. However, The Documentary Channel is selling public-broadcasting-type sponsorships, according to CEO Tom Neff.

“We’re the first channel to show all documentaries, all the time,” he said. “Many of these documentaries don’t fit on other channels.”

So far, The Documentary Channel has licensed more than 100 hours of films, including the Oscar-nominated Wacoand Shake Hands with the Devil.

The new Nashville, Tenn.-based channel is also talking with cable operators about getting carriage on their systems, Neff said.

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