Friday, October 28, 2005

Dish Network yanks OLN, No More NHL

Due to a seemingly simple squabble over who has how many viewers of something or other, EchoStar decided last week to yank Outdoor Life Network (OLN) from the Dish Network lineup entirely. Normally no one would care except for the 12 people who sit glued to their TVs during the Tour de France every year. The problem is, OLN recently acquired the rights to show NHL games from ESPN. Don't know exactly what pro hockey has to due with outdoor life, but whatever, that's beside the point. If you're a Dish subscribing hockey fan, you're just a little bit out of luck for the time being.

It seems that OLN has a requirement that in order to show its programming, over 40% of viewers must have access to the channel. Because OLN is not offered in the most basic Dish Network lineups, Dish isn't meeting this requirement. This apparently made Dish angry, and they just decided to rip out the channel entirely. "I'm taking my toys and I'm going home", said EchoStar Senior Vice President Eric Sahl. Ok I made that up, but I'm sure that's what he was thinking.

Dish Network has done this before. Last year it pulled all Viacom programming, which includes MTV, The Comedy Channel and Nickelodeon. That only lasted a few days, though, so there's probably hope that OLN and NHL will return in some form.

Source: CNN/SI



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