Viacom and DISH Network Reach Long-Term Agreement; CBS, MTV Networks and BET Restored
March 11, 2004
Viacom (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B) and EchoStar Communications Corporation (Nasdaq: DISH) and its DISH Network today announced that they have reached a long-term, multi-channel agreement that provides for the satellite TV distribution of CBS, BET, and the MTV Networks channels previously carried by DISH Network.
"It's great to have our networks back in front of all our viewers, and to bring a new service, Nicktoons, to DISH Network subscribers," said Mel Karmazin, President and Chief Operating Officer of Viacom. "We apologize to our viewers for the disruption in their service, and want to thank them for their patience and support. We look forward to continuing to serve our viewers through DISH Network well into the future."
"This agreement with Viacom allows DISH Network to remain the lowest-cost, all digital TV provider in the country," said Charles Ergen, chairman and chief executive officer of EchoStar. "We understand that this has been a difficult few days for our customers, and we thank them for all the encouragement they have given us throughout. We also look forward to a long relationship with Viacom in which we can provide their quality channels to our viewers."
The multi-year agreement restores full service of CBS in 16 markets as well as Comedy Central, MTV, MTV2, Nickelodeon, Noggin, GAS, VH1, VH1 Classic, MTV Espanol and BET in all markets. Additionally, the agreement extends the term of the carriage for CBS HD (East and West) channels, as well as Spike TV, CMT and TV Land. DISH Network will also launch Nicktoons on its America's Top 180 package this spring.
As part of the agreement, Viacom and DISH Network have settled all litigation between the two companies.