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Dish Inks HD Carriage Deal with Tribune

Satellite operator Dish Network signed an agreement with Tribune to carry the HD version of WGN America, the cable network from “superstation” WGN, as well as the HD signals of Tribune’s 23 stations in 19 markets.

WGN America in HD -- which provides coverage of Major League Baseball’s Chicago Cubs and White Sox and the National Basketball Association’s Chicago Bulls -- will be added to Dish’s lineup of more than 80 HD channels. Dish said it will have 100 national channels and 100 local markets available in HD by year-end.

“We’re very pleased to extend our agreements with Dish Network,” said Bill Shaw, general manager of WGN America, in a statement. “This agreement provides solid value for Tribune and will deliver our best entertainment, sports and news programming to Dish Network subscribers in the best format possible -- full HD.”

Located on channel 239, WGN America in HD is available to Dish customers who subscribe to the AT200 Essential HD package and higher, as well as its HD-only Absolute programming package, which is available for $29.99 per month.

“With the Cubs and White Sox leading their divisions in the Major Leagues, we are excited to reach this agreement with Tribune to launch WGN America in HD,” added Eric Sahl, senior vice president of programming for Dish, in a statement. “Now, Dish Network subscribers throughout the country can follow this exciting season in high-definition, especially the upcoming crosstown battles between the Cubs and Sox at Wrigley Field and U.S. Cellular Field later this month. Along with WGN America in HD, we are also pleased to add Tribune’s local signals in high-definition to our lineup. These are some of the most popular stations in the markets Tribune serves.”

This week, Dish will also begin to carry HD feeds from major-market Tribune stations KCPQ, the Fox affiliate in Seattle; WPIX, The CW affiliate in New York; WGN-TV, The CW affiliate in Chicago; and KTXL, the Fox affiliate in Sacramento, Calif.