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NFL Network Remains On Dish's Classic Silver 200 Package After Settlement

Dish Network and NFL Network, which have been knocking helmets in court over positioning for the pro football service, said they have reached an out-of-court settlement.

The agreement, other terms of which were not disclosed, calls for the No.2 satellite provider to continue to carry NFL Network on its Classic Silver 200 programming package on a multiyear basis.

Dish Network pulled NFL Network from the "free preview" on its America's Top 100 package, moving it to its AT200 tier on Feb. 20, 2008, in response to the channel's decision to simulcast a Dec. 28, 2007 game on CBS and NBC that featured the then-undefeated New England Patrios against the New York Giants.

NFL Network then filed suit against Dish in New York State Supreme Court after the move, which resulted in the pro football league's in-house channel losing about 4 million subscribers. The Classic Silver 200 programming package reaches around 8 million Dish subscribers. NFL Network currently counts some 42 million subscribers.

"We are very pleased that our NFL Network will continue to be distributed in millions of homes on Dish Network," said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in a statement."We look forward to having our Network's upcoming coverage of the April 25-26 NFL Draft showcased on Dish Network."

Noted Dish chairman, president and CEO Charlie Ergen: "The NFL Network is a great complement to our programming lineup and we are pleased to offer the channel to our subscribers."

The settlement with Dish follows NFL Network's recent renewal with DirecTV, which came in conjunction with the top DBS operator inking a four-year extension for the league's out-of-market Sunday Ticket package.

Next Tuesday, NFL Network's program carriage complaint against top cable operator Comcast with the Federal Communications Commission will go before an Administrative Law Judge.

The service's contract with Comcast, which has now carries it on a sports tier, expires at month's end.