Ergen Upbeat on DISH Programming Talks


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Sep 8, 2003
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EchoStar CEO Charlie Ergen sounded upbeat on negotiations the satellite TV company is having with two programmers - Turner and Viacom - both of which have key channels on DISH Network that are the focus of the talks.

Concerning Viacom, Ergen told viewers of his Monday "Charlie Chat" that the two sides are having "more fruitful discussions" concerning carriage of key networks - such as MTV and Nickelodeon - and local CBS channels. He said the company hopes to reach an agreement this week, especially with a deadline for conclusion of talks looming Wednesday.

During the holidays, EchoStar and Turner agreed to a multi-month extension for carriage of the programmer's networks, which include CNN, TBS, TNT and Cartoon Network, among others. Ergen also described the Turner talks as "good."

Ergen said programmers "spend a lot of money on their programming," but added, "We want to make sure we are treated fairly."

Ergen also discussed upcoming price increases for DISH Network packages, which were described as small and less than the rate of inflation. America's Top 120 (once was AT 100) with locals will see a 1 cent jump, to $39.99 a month, while DISH's America's Top 180 (once was AT 150) will see a $1 increase. DISH Network's Everything Pak will see a $3 jump, to $82.99.

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