Details Emerge on DISH/Viacom Talks


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Supporting Founder
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Supporting Founder
Sep 8, 2003
Las Vegas, Nevada
From our friends at

Both sides of the programming carriage skirmish between EchoStar and Viacom apparently are still talking about a deal. But documents - recently sent to the California federal court considering EchoStar's request for a restraining order to prevent Viacom from taking away its content - revealed some of negotiation's background.

According to a statement filed with the court from Michael Schwimmer, EchoStar's vice president of programming, the satellite TV company wanted to negotiate carriage of Viacom's broadcast stations and cable programming separately. EchoStar did not want to talk about carriage of a new programming service - Nicktoons - a network Viacom apparently wanted to place on DISH Network, the filing said.

Also, Viacom reportedly wanted a three-year extension of the current term for three networks - TVLand, CMT and Spike TV - from the current end date in 2005, the filing said.

The statement from Schwimmer said Viacom used its exclusive broadcast rights to the upcoming Super Bowl to pressure EchoStar to acquiesce to its demands. "EchoStar's inability to provide its subscribers with the Super Bowl would exacerbate even further the grave injury that EchoStar would sustain by not being able to carry CBS's stations at any other time of the year," the statement said.

On Monday, EchoStar CEO Charlie Ergen sounded upbeat on the talks. The extended deadline for negotiations expires tonight.
Yeah, am I going to see a "This channel is temporarily unavailable" message tomorrow morning when I turn my sat receiver on?
And customers are going to tell Dish to shove it and that they dont care if they are in a contract or not that they will not get a cent.
Stargazer said:
And customers are going to tell Dish to shove it and that they dont care if they are in a contract or not that they will not get a cent.

And this is why there are so many lawsuits. You sign a contract and then won't live by it. Yes, the contract is more in the interest of the company (in this case Dish) and they can drop programming and you have to accept it. Start another DBS company and make the rules your way, or go to Directv.(same rule) If your on a contract you got something for that. Perhaps dish will agree to take back whatever you got for signing the contract and let you out of it?
Certainly those on an autopay type arrangement will be forced to pay. I personally recommend honoring any contract you sign or otherwise agree to.
From our friends at

There wasn't much more to report concerning discussions between Viacom and EchoStar concerning carriage of Viacom's networks on the DISH Network satellite TV service.

Reportedly, there is a stand still in the discussions set to last through today. According to documents, the parties asked for a court hearing - if it becomes necessary - concerning EchoStar's request for a temporary restraining order preventing the loss of Viacom content. That hearing would take place today in federal court in Oakland, Calif., if needed.

The EchoStar/Viacom talks concern ongoing carriage of key networks - such as MTV and Nickelodeon - and local CBS channels on DISH Network.

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