Small Vt. Op Freezes Out Lifetime

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As it turns out, EchoStar Communications Corp. wasn’t the only distributor that dropped Lifetime Television at the start of the year over a contract renewal.

But while the satellite provider put the women’s network back on, tiny Duncan Cable TV has not.

Duncan Cable of Wilmington and Dover, Vt., has only lost a couple of subscribers since deleting Lifetime and replacing it with Oxygen Jan. 1, according to the system’s owner, Cliff Duncan. The company has 2,900 customers, and its affiliation deal with Lifetime expired at the end of last year.

"We regret that we couldn't reach an agreement with Duncan so they could continue carrying Lifetime, the most popular women's network," Lifetime spokesman Gary Morgenstein said.

Like EchoStar’s Dish Network, Duncan Cable objected to some of the terms of the new agreement that Lifetime sought. In the case of the small operator, Lifetime’s per-subscriber monthly license fee would have risen from 40 cents to 47 cents over three years, Duncan said.

The renewal was also contingent on Duncan Cable launching Lifetime Movie Network and Lifetime Real Women, Duncan said.

Although Duncan Cable stopped carrying Lifetime in January, the cable operator only issued a press release on the deletion Wednesday.

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