EchoStar Communications Monday warned Dish Network subscribers that they may lose Turner channels Cartoon Network, CNN, Turner Classic Movies and CNN Headline News due to a dispute over rate increases. The news comes just a month after EchoStar temporarily dropped Viacom networks MTV, VHI, Comedy Central, BET and Nickelodeon in a similar rate battle.
The agreement between EchoStar and Turner parent company Time Warner went into a temporary extension period following its expiration at the end of 2003. EchoStar holds that Warner’s new asking price for licensing is too high to continue offering subscribers affordable cable service. Echostar also says it’s trying to get content providers to stop requiring a satellite premium now that the Dish Network has grown to service more than 9 million customers.
The announcement of the potential Turner block-out was made by Echostar CEO Charles Ergen during Monday night’s broadcast of Charlie’s Chats on Dish Network.