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Turner, Dish Still Talking

As of Friday, EchoStar Communications Corp. and Turner Broadcasting System Inc. were still trying to nail down new deals for several of the programmer’s channels, which Dish Network was hinting it might drop.

At press time Friday, Dish’s parent company and Time Warner Inc.-owned Turner were still negotiating and trying to close agreements for the continued carriage of Cable News Network, CNN Headline News, CNNfn, Cartoon Network, Turner Classic Movies, Boomerang and Turner South, according to a spokesman for the satellite-TV provider.

Last Monday (April 12), during his televised “Charlie Chat,” EchoStar CEO Charlie Ergen talked about the contract talks with Turner.

“I think we can get it done, but I want you to be prepared,” Ergen told EchoStar subscribers, who number 9.4 million.

EchoStar’s contracts for the Turner services expired Dec. 31, but the programmer has granted the direct-broadcast satellite provider extensions to continue carrying them as negotiations continued.

Last month, EchoStar dropped several Viacom Inc. services, including Nickelodeon and MTV: Music Television, along with CBS-owned stations, for two days in a nasty public dispute.

“Negotiations with EchoStar continue,” a Turner spokeswoman said. “We remain hopeful that EchoStar will continue to make Turner’s industry-leading networks available to its Dish Network customers.”