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Dish Drops Americas Voice, Adding to Net Woes

It seems America's Voice can't catch a break these days. Less than one month after the political-talk network emerged from bankruptcy proceedings with a new owner, EchoStar Communications Corp-its largest distributor-pulled the channel from its lineup.

"Due to a major change in the programming content, this service is no longer available," read the on-screen message that replaced America's Voice programming last Wednesday around 3 p.m.

EchoStar spokesman Marc Lumpkin said the company pulled the channel because its contract expired, and it had also been running too many infomercials.

"It was supposed to be 24-hour political content, and they've changed that now to mostly infomercials," Lumpkin said.

America's Voice spokesman Jim Halling acknowledged that the network did add a new weekday infomercial program calledHollywood Treasureson Sept. 18, airing it from 12 to 2 p.m.

The programmer also runs infomercials from midnight to 6 a.m. and for most of the weekend.

The EchoStar loss cuts full-time distribution of America's Voice nearly in half. The network, which claims 9 million full-time subscribers, counted 4.1 million EchoStar homes.

After filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last December, America's Voice was pulled from AT & T Broadband's Headend In The Sky Platform for missing payments.

America's Voice also lost PrimeStar distribution when DirecTV Inc. shut down the medium-power satellite service last week. DirecTV did not pick up America's Voice.

Last month, America's Voice reached a deal to sell its network to little known Dallas-based company Ecine.