EchoStar Communications Corp. CEO Charlie Ergen expressed some optimism about the direct-broadcast satellite operator’s talks with Turner Broadcasting System Inc.
During a “Charlie Chat” on Dish Network Monday night, Ergen said he was hopeful that an agreement could be reached, but Dish viewers may lose networks such as Cable News Network, Cartoon Network, CNN Headline News and Turner Classic Movies, Reuters reported. "I think we can get this done, but I want you to be prepared," he said.
The carriage agreement between the two parties expired at the end of December, and it has been extended while discussions continue, according to Reuters.
"We had to pay [a premium] when we were starting out in the business and had a small customer base," EchoStar spokesman Steve Caulk told Reuters. "Now we have 9.4 million subscribers, and we would like to get programmers out of the habit of receiving a satellite premium from us."
A Turner spokeswoman told Reuters negotiations are continuing and "we're hopeful that EchoStar will continue to make Turner available to Dish customers."