Court TV has been pulled from the Echostar satellite service after the two sides failed to agree on a new contract. Court TV went dark on Dish as of 12:01 Jan. 1.
Court TV parent company Turner issued the following statement: “We were unable to reach an agreement with Echostar and, as a result, we had no choice but to discontinue their carriage of Court TV."
Turner suggested that customers could switch to competitor DirecTV, or cable, if they wanted to keep getting Court TV.
"They were unwilling to pay the standard industry rate for a popular network that is currently ranked in the Top 20. We are disappointed with their decision, and hope that we can reach resolution," said Turner, "but in the meantime, our cable operator partners and DirecTV are able to provide this network to Court TV fans.”
For its part, Echostar says it continues to negotiate but that Turner was asking too much and that it was only looking out for the best interests of its customers, which it said it must protect "from unreasonable demands," according to senior VP, programming for DISH Network, Eric Sahl. "It is not fair to ask our customers to pay a DBS premium for a channel owned by the second largest cable operator, Time Warner," said Sahl in a statesment. "We take pride in offering consumers the best value for pay TV service in the industry, and we remain committed to keeping our cost structure low to the benefit of our customers.”
In the meantime, EchoStar will fill the Court TV vacancy with a freeview of Biography.
Turner wasted no time trying to drum up viewer support for its side. In a spot on CNN Jan. 1, Turner showed the image of a banging gavel with the tag line "don't stand for this injustice" as it urged viewers to register their disaffection with the disappearance of the channel.
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