Week of 29 December 2008


From The Consumerist: a bad DirecTV installation and another that took an owner's gun and $10 in quarters.

The Dark Knight is now in 1080p VOD.

Movie channels are being added to the 350s (Encore/Starz) removing the existing 362-364 mapdowns.

The Caribbean and México are getting a Charlie treat: the 86.5W application was modified for the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and México.


The time is near, and there are a lot of locals you may not see in the New Year on Dish. Here are some, either gone already or soon to go without action. We've included mailing addresses for either the station owner or the station itself. We encourage you to write and send in about the problems you have and that these station groups' demands are unreasonable.

Before December 2008: WBRZ Baton Rouge (7290 Bluebonnet Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA 70810)

Fisher: KBCI Boise, KVAL Eugene OR, KBAK/KBFX-LP Bakersfield, KIDK Idaho Falls, KOMO/KUNS Seattle, KATU Portland (not KUNP), KIMA Yakima | Write to Fisher: 100 4th Ave N, Suite 510 - Seattle, WA 98109

ComCorp of TX/LA/IN: CORPORATE (PO Box 53708 - Lafayette, LA 70505) KTSM El Paso-Las Cruces (801 N. Oregon - El Paso, Texas 79902), WVLA/WBRL-CA/WGMB/KZUP Baton Rouge (10000 Perkins Rd. - Baton Rouge, LA 70810), KVEO Brownsville (394 N. Expressway - Brownsville, TX 78521), KMSS/KSHV Shreveport (3519 Jewelle Ave - Shreveport, LA 71109), KFXK-KFXL, KETK-KETK-LP, KCEB, KTPN-LP-KLPN-LP West Texas and Lufkin (4300 Richmond Road - Tyler, TX 75703), KPEJ West Texas (P.O. Box 11009 - Odessa, Texas 79760), WNTZ Natchez-Alexandria (4615 Parliament Drive, Suite 103 - Alexandria, LA 71303), WEVV/WTSN Evansville, IN (44 Main Street - Evansville, IN 47708), KADN/KLAF Lafayette LA (1500 Eraste Landry - Lafayette, LA 70506), KWKT Waco/KYLE College Station (write to corporate)

Other: KTEN Sherman-Ada (NEW, they want their CW subchannel) (3 addresses, with the third as primary) (124 East Main, Suite 2 - Ada, OK 74820 | 1214 Merrick Drive - Ardmore, OK 73401 | 10 HighPoint Circle - Denison, TX 75020 | Lockwood B'casting corporate: 220 Salters Creek Road - Hampton, VA 23661)

Know of more retransmission consent disputes with Dish? Email our tip line right now with the station's website and call letters.


The New Year is rough for video operators: Time Horror just lost MTV Networks.

Nationwide, new HD and SD locals signed on.

The year in review: The N, Noggin, and Nick GAS! Freezing package prices cover Dish's brass! New DTV boxes from EchoStar, a fire in Grand Junction makes Dish viewers ajar! 77 West, the rumors swirl; AMC-14, the crash heard 'round the world! Voom went VROOM, BOOM, and straight to court; Eastern Arc started in Providence, once nary a fort! New HD channels, USA and SciFi; LIN says hello, but not before bye-bye! FCC auction, Charlie gets spectrum...Major League Baseball sues, never too humdrum! A new call center in Ahwatukee, while TiVo gets injunction-happy! A Dish hacker testified, and I proved Tribune (bona fide). AT&T drifted away, NPS distants are legally OK, TurboHD makes its debut, it's dust to dust for EchoStar 2, Dish battled the Citadel, Gol TV ain't on as well, 25,000 down the drain, HDNet nearly vanished in the rain, DirecTiVo returns from the dead place, Ciel 2 went up into space, the Tech Forum disappeared then returned, Mexican fortunes for the better turned, negotiations about which we learned...December brought a Young problem to the door, though it was quickly resolved - then we got more, as Fisher sued and its local offerings to Dish dissolved. And that ends the year in DISH!

Week of 22 December 2008

Tuesday (posted Thursday)

Dish will give anyone affected by big retrans disputes some sort of channel. KTBS's long-running dispute gave Shreveport the Hallmark Channel, and the Fisher dispute has brought on Hallmark Movie Channel in lieu of the actual stations. All this as the Northwest gets blasted by Old Man Winter.

On the 31st, all news content on this page will move to our 2008 archives, we'll clean this page off, and the News Monitor will start anew in 2009. The date was slightly earlier last year because the 31st was a Monday. Expect news for Monday through Wednesday to ultimately end up in the 2008 archives.

Week of 15 December 2008


It never ends! Northwest viewers need to watch out for all Fisher stations: Dish dropped the Fisher stations, and Fisher has responded with a a lawsuit in Oregon for breach of contract (and they want $1 million). (Read the statement from Fisher | Write to Fisher Communications: 100 4th Ave N, Suite 510 - Seattle, WA 98109)

A funeral has been announced for VOOM, which died after Dish pulled its plug.

There was a retailer chat, though Scott's inability to watch was a problem. PRICES ARE GOING UP. In this economy? Charlie!


It never ends! As Young rides off into the sunset, ComCorp charges in. ComCorp stations are in Texas and Louisiana markets. I do not have contact info, as ComCorp does not appear to have a website (and comcorp.com is for a different entity). Read the posting on all ComCorp station websites

Light early uplink: RAINW replaces LEOWD on 730. Leonardo World left the States and has been replaced with RAI News 24. One SatelliteGuys member notes that they seemed to be hedging international distribution.

With one year approaching, it's time to look back at New Year's Day. We rang in 2008 with our traditional cable channel dispute. 2006 was Lifetime, 2007 CourtTV, and this year was the funky Noggin/The N split. Apparently the GAS runs out of Nick GAS, which stands where one of the two split channels normally would, at the end of the month.

Raleigh ALERT! WNCN is being affected by tower repair on a fixed schedule, which will bring it off the air on Dish and DirecTV. It also will affect other stations in the market. The first outages began today.

WAAY HD is coming soon to Huntsville, as is KCWE for Kansas City.

PEACE channel 653 was added to 118.

KHBS DT, KCDO, WLLA, and WMFP were added but unavailable. Respectively, these stations are CW, America One, independent with Christian programs, and Gems TV.

KBWB is KOFY again, which is what it was before The WB. The change occurred two months ago.

International preview dance, affecting 585 to 812.

XETV HD and WMCN were switched on.

ICTV appears to be InCite TV. Huh?


Crisis has been averted, as Dish and Young Broadcasting reach a deal.

One code change related to HTML validation (a div align attribute was blocking proper validation)

Week of 8 December 2008


Oh no...it's the almighty RETRANS CONSENT EARTHQUAKE! This time, the epicenter is reported as Young Broadcasting, owners of KRON among other stations. Contract extensions came about, but in the end, Dish failed to deliver like always.

Make your voice heard now! Call Young Broadcasting Investor Relations at 212-754-7070 or write to them at the following:

Young Broadcasting
599 Lexington Avenue
New York, NY 10022


CTN is available on 110 and coming to 77.

A barrage of new locals in a variety of markets are coming. Lots of digital subchannel additions too.

Rejoice, Tulsa! You've got new HD locals.

Tuesday: Recap of the Recap

A tired Raymie leads to a delayed Recap of the Recap. But first, here are some news stories from the past week.

Uplink Report: Christmas music channels are now being mapped down to the 70s.

David Goodfriend, Dish chief lobbyist, left, but Dish replaced him with Lori Kalani. Goodfriend is starting his own lobbying firm with Dish Network as a client. Also to be noted is that David Shull, currently based out of Hong Kong, will replace Eric Sahl at the retrans consent desk.

It's five months on, and we're still in a hot legal soccer match, with the combatants Gol TV and Dish and the subject license fees. Multichannel News provides a look at this complicated affair.

Also at court, the NDS/Dish piracy case took a good turn. The court determined that Dish should be recompensated for attorneys' fees and court costs to the tune of $8.3 million.

The Sportsman Channel, which has had a quirky relationship with Dish, struck an actual carriage deal, but this was with DirecTV.

In world news, it's still Dish, as two Polish networks launched exclusively on Dish. TV Silesia and Radio Silesia serve the Silesia region of Poland.

Technology news: DirecTV was trying to make a PC tuner to integrate with Windows Media Center, but it's been scrapped.

Good Comcast news: a technician stopped to help six residents of Silver Spring, Maryland, escape their burning apartment building.

We heard earlier this year that Fox Going-out-of-Business Network was about to ink a carriage deal with either Cox (my cable provider), Dish, or Cablevision. Well, it happens to be Cox. They say it will launch next month on the digital tier. The catch is that Cox Phoenix is always fashionably late with any channel rollouts, so it might be a while before I get to watch FBN.

Begin Recap of the Recap

With the impending split of Versus and Golf Channel HD, 9473 will become Golf Channel HD and 9466 will be home to Versus. Versus HD is in the Turbo Gold package, while Turbo Silver includes the Golf Channel.

Big news: Dish is in negotiations with BET, CMT, MTV, VH1, Comedy Central, FX, Spike, Speed, Nickelodeon, and Showtime. This is a major package, as this is MTV Networks + CBS Corporation + Fox. Oh boy! The problem: Dish wants 24/7 HD from these guys.

Ciel 2 is launching tomorrow for launch the first of February.

Local HD forecast: Topeka and South Bend tomorrow, Tulsa this month, and Columbus, Paducah, Roanoke, Indianapolis, Davenport, and Fargo in early 2009.

CNBC and MSNBC fluff. Incidentally, my DBSTalk source says Closing Bell is an MSNBC program, not CNBC.

Holiday upgrade offer. Nothing to see here.

Hey look, it's Rachel Maddow!

Yawn....very little good stuff. Very fluffy, and Eric Sahl made his last Charlie Chat appearance.

Week of 1 December 2008

Wednesday: Uplink Report Highlights and Ciel-2

The big story is Ciel-2 today, with a slew of TIDs and "UNKNOWN"s landing in the report. JohnH identified these as Ciel-2 related.)

International and regular-channel preview shuffle.

ICTV was added to 230. Can someone tell me what it is?

Bravo, Biography, and ABC Family HD are coming to Alaska and Hawaii.

Cartoon Network West was released to the public today.

It's channel 895 again! Chiller is the latest contender dropping out, 35 months after Lifetime Movie Network did the same in the Dish-Lifetime dispute.

Today died the last MPEG2 HD channels...6201-6204 went off the air, ending an era in satellite HD. Any old-style HD receivers should be traded in for ViP models.

The 211 is affected: the system table updates caused 211s to lose switch matrix data and all channels not on 119.

I never knew this: the World Teleport Association recognized EchoStar by placing it on its "prestigious" Global Top 20 and Fast 20 rankings for this year. It's a big deal.

Sahl's not making more sales: Eric Sahl is leaving, opening the door for better negotiations.

Old Craig Moffett proclaimed the worst effects of our down economy on DBS.

Week of 24 November 2008

Wednesday: Flotsam and Jetsam Report

All the stuff that landed in NetNewsWire over the past week, oldest first:

Apparently Little Rock was turned on, because Dish said it was available!

Telco Frontier and Dish renewed a strategic alliance. Frontier is a rural local exchange company serving markets in 24 states.

Lots of flotsam and jetsam dealt with TiVo. The bench trial was scheduled for February 17-18.

Dish is launching some sort of entertainment program called Dish Studio on channel 500. It will be updated monthly.

Dish is using a company called Rentrak to track viewing habits. All information will be anonymous.

In an encouraging sign for those EchoStar set tops, the Europe division struck a deal with the largest satellite provider in Poland, Cyfrowy Polsat. It serves 2.4 million subscribers.

The Pasiones channel was launched yesterday on channel 834 in the DishMexico package. It apparently isn't about one soap opera, like I'd thought.

The big news: ARANSAY WAS RIGHT ALL ALONG! An actual Dish México is launching with MVS and Dish on board. The first launches will occur in Puebla and Leon and then across Mexico in the next few months. MVS's existing video offering is to be combined, giving it 570,000 customers and existing infrastructure. A variety of Mexican channels will be provided. EchoStar pitches in with uplink facilities, satellite space, dish antennas, receivers, controls, and technology.

TiVo got a nice lump sum from Dish, which pushed TiVo to its first profitable quarter! Multichannel News | Broadcasting and Cable | BetaNews

Sling.com was revamped, according to Gizmodo. The new site boasts 60 content partners - and even content badged with a Hulu logo. (Strange...) Mark Wilson, a Gizmodo writer, notes that the quality leaves something to be desired.

Week of 17 November 2008

Wednesday: Super-News Day featuring Uplink Report Highlights and a Recap of the Retailer Recap

A lot of stuff hit the fan today. We'll start with the Recap of the Recap, from Scotty at SatelliteGuys.

New Eastern Arc cities! Rejoice, Jacksonville, Lexington, Wichita Falls, Cincinnati, Harrisburg, Louisville, Lancaster PA, York PA, Columbia-Jefferson City, Springfield MO, and Huntington-Charleston! Watch for Little Rock and Tulsa to come soon!

CTN was added to 267 and the PI range. 181 (ION) became TOONW (Cartoon Network West, really should be CNW). WMCN is coming soon in both flavors.

¡Viva la DishMéxico! The package of the same name launched today, and my sources (Aransay) hit the nail on the head! Bandamax IS available, and so is CBeebies, which is already in other parts of the world but has now entered the States. It is a new channel and launched today. The channel for Pasiones was also confirmed and is "coming soon" according to the Retailer Chat.

The Versus and Golf HD channels are to split soon, and preparations are currently being made for the swap.

The holiday music channel is coming! It's been uplinked.

NBA League Pass is on Dish this year - they actually made a deal! *Shock!*

SAB was made available. This is Hindu channel SabTV, as informed by the Retailer Chat.

Promotions like Dish'n it Up no longer require upgrades through the original retailer.

The Leslie Harper Tech News Update:

All 211/211k boxes have the DVR-enabler software as of last night.

The 722k has a BUILT-IN software antenuator (no more barrels!)

Snowbird alert! Dish now has a Snowbird Policy, enabling YOU to have Dish at TWO HOUSES! The customer can take the receivers back and forth. A code must be placed on the account to do this, however, in order to keep the audit team at bay.

The next Retailer Chat is on the 18th of next month.

Dish is sending manual timers for advertising bits. Of course, the product is a SlingBox.

Are you in an area where your Fox Sports station just got split (Tennessee/Carolinas)? Well...look for the ALT channels. Titan TV shows that 420 is now Fox Sports Carolina - mostly college programs.

Week of 10 November 2008

Wednesday: Uplink Report Highlights

Earlier in the day, Sirius Satellite Radio and its conjoined sister XM did a lineup shuffle, necessitating the addition and deletion of channels. DirecTV is also being affected, as they carry XM content. The shuffle is causing issues with audio quality.

Digital subchannel information was added for WMVT Milwaukee and KEYE Austin.

Additions of data channels at 77 and 72.7 in the 19000 range.

All channels on 77 were turned on.

Rejoice, Kansas City! You've received a combo of HD and MPEG4 SD locals on 61.5.


Yesterday, Dish partnered with INVIDI to deliver targeted ads.

The once-TR-50 has been released by Dish as the DTVPal DVR is announced. Preorders begin on the 19th.

But wait, there's more! "And in a second announcement, Dish Network said it was offering a feature that will permit customers to convert their original HD receiver to DVRs with an external hard drive." This had been rumored for a while now.

Recap of the Recap: Tech Forum

But it's the day after a Tech Forum...at the News Monitor, that means that it's time for Recap of the Recap, a hypercondensed summary of the coverage you'll find everywhere else. Today's Recap of the Recap is brought to you by DBSTalk.

Within the next week, new 211/211k software will allow a 9-day EPG (!), "watch one while recording another" technology, and the aforementioned EHD expansion. After the 19th, you can use a USB 2.0, non USB-powered drive with capacities from 50 to 750 GB. You connect it to the 211/211k and follow the given prompts. There's a one-time fee of $39.99 that is separate from that for the 622. This works for all 211s on your account. Note that it works only with one-drive, one-case USB drives.

The 722k is coming in December! The ATSC tuner is separate (and available separately). It has Channel 3/4 output for TV1 and can access OTA content from TV2 with the 722k and OTA module. It also comes with a two-way learning remote. The 222k will also come out and is the 722k without DVR functionality.

The learning remote has a separate search key, IPTV keys for future use, the ability to save box settings on the remote. It's called the 21.0 remote. It contains codes for new equipment and can learn any existing commands.

Pricing for everything new:

"ViP 722k DVR - $499 w/OTA Module, $470 w/o (MSRP)
ViP 222k - $299 w/OTA Module, $269 w/o (MSRP)
MT2 OTA Module $29.99 (MSRP) - for k units only
21.0 Replacement Remote $19.99 (MSRP)"

The DTVPal DVR has USB 2.0 and Ethernet update capabilities. It's $249.99 including a $50 rebate.

USB Storage is being renamed to My Media. November 20 will bring EHD folders to the 622 and 722. The 612 will get this early next year.

Bye-bye, MPEG2! The last MPEG2 channels are being shut off on the 1st - for good.

622/722 broadband allows you to purchase PPV without the phone line fee and access to Dish Online.

The next Charlie Chat is December 8 and the next Tech Forum on February 9. I do not know the date of the next Retailer Chat.

Monday: Earnings

Good ol' Craig Moffett predicted a gain of 87,000 subscribers for the third quarter, but the opposite was the case: Dish posted a loss of 10,000 subscribers for the third quarter this morning in their earnings report. In an SEC 10-Q filed this morning, Dish attributed the losses to "an increase in our subscriber churn rate, and churn on a larger subscriber base. Our percentage monthly subscriber churn for the three months ended Sept. 30, 2008 was 2.02%, compared to 1.94% for the same period in 2007."

Net income dropped to $92 million from $200 million last year; Dish said the losses "primarily related to impairments on marketable and non-marketable securities".

Total revenue was up: "Dish Network reported total revenue of $2.94 billion for the third quarter, a 5.1% increase compared with $2.79 billion for the corresponding period in 2007."

In what respect, Charlie? Could Dish have to tread water?

No-brainer alert: Charlie says hawking EchoStar set tops to cable is tough.

Speaking of EchoStar, it lost $308 million this quarter, a huge drop from its $7 million loss last third quarter. It primarily related to unrealized losses and securities impairments, according to a press release. The basic loss per share was $3.43 (down from $.07 last year). EchoStar did post more revenue - $616 million compared to $404 million last year.

Dish tumbled $2.28 to 13.24, while SATS (EchoStar) went down $.35 to 18.05. (Yahoo reports, 5pm Mountain Standard Time)

Uplinks occurred today - Dish added a slew of channels to 77. Some locals were also added to 77 - a notable standout is in Cincinnati, where WCPO and WLWT may be in HD. It's an odd place to have it, given 77's southern footprint. The new activity turns on tp 28 for the first time (110's tp 28 is used by DirecTV). NOTAX was turned on to places unknown; the city of Chicago proposed a satellite tax.

Week of 3 November 2008

Thursday: Uplink Report Highlights

Tweener satellites? Huh?

77th Heaven! 77 is alive and a barrage of different local markets were added.

Alaska and Hawaii Update: Get ready! TLC, Travel Channel, The Weather Channel, Cartoon Network, Animal Planet, Versus, NatGeo, and ESPNews HD are coming soon!

New internationals: 712 RTR and 848 CBBIS. Aransay thinks #2 is the Latin American version of CBeebies, a BBC-owned children's channel.

A new PBS mirror was added at 8429. It's for the PBS-challenged Imperial Valley.

MTDTA was added in the 36700s. It means "metadata".

International happy preview dance time!

Now on the air: KGNS-3 and KUDF.

It's DirecTV day! Sub growth is down 35%, 6 new local HD markets were added, a new ad sales site was launched, Chase Carey thinks lost AT&T deals led to that bad sub growth, and more I didn't find.


The Obama Channel went off the air yesterday (but it's coming back on the 20th of January!).

Ciel-2's launch has been delayed 8 days.

Some Dish retailers aren't selling Dish anymore. Four of the five are in Texas.

The forecasts are even gloomy at DirecTV: good ol' Craig Moffett says it won't have as much gain and that there are some reasons for concern about DirecTV.


MORE FSNs? Sure! Tennessee and the Carolinas now have their own Fox Sports networks. Note the odd FS_____ branding.

Week of 27 October 2008


An Ohio Dish reseller, Joshua Mann, has tipped off the News Monitor to great news (it's even better for Tony)!

"Theres word from higher ups that cincinatti will be the next ohio dma to get hd locals…no specifics yet such as orbital(more than likely 61.5 given the example set by Cleveland…but we hear by the end of November"

Another Aransay update: PSNES is a channel owned by DirecTV Latin America that shows telenovelas, such as "Pasiones". Why it's on Dish is beyond me.


Ha! It seems that sites like DBSTalk and SatelliteGuys are even permeating the "Dish CSR" market. One person activated a new 722 recently, mentioned SatelliteGuys, and it came up that the CSR checked it before going to work.

Wednesday: Uplink Report Highlights

Ion Television is now available on channel 280 for both Western and Eastern Arcs.

New international channels: SAB 575, EKSHY 750, TVSLZ and RDSLZ 757/756 (Arabic/Egyptian?), PSNES 834, BDMAX (México's Bandamax) 867. Further name information is requested at our tip line. At the same time, 610, 667, and 755 moved from 61.5.

755 is now BVISN. It is a likely replacement of ART Sports or a programmer change.

XETV HD will be added soon...it is currently added as unavailable on 6411.

Casper, San Angelo, and Abilene got channels on 129. Is there a move in the works?

New: WHDT, a unique digital-only independent. It will be on 8874 map 44 for both arcs.

New: WMAK, another digital independent. It will be on 9319 and map to 7.

Preview dance: DIY -> Fine Living, GSN -> Hallmark Movie Channel.

USA and SciFi in the 5500 range were turned on.

New: KTLA and KWGN HD. They were turned on today.

WXAX was made available today.

More MPEG-2 gets the ax: 6205 and 6207 are gone. One viewer described the change as "one minute Real Sports was on, next thing I know I'm hearing a Dish 500 slate".

Programming note: 10 November will be a News Monitor Monday with super-coverage of earnings for Dish and EchoStar, a Tech Chat, and any news items I get.

Multichannel News: History en Español, which made its debut on Dish earlier this year, has made its way to DirecTV.

The clock is ticking in Beaumont/Port Arthur, Texas. KBTV, the NBC affiliate, will take Fox, leaving KUIL (a low-power station) out of a network affiliation after the end of the year and Dish customers out of luck if they want NBC. KUIL is carried on Dish, so if they pick up NBC, it will be carried.


Multichannel News: Dish will be launching its lovely election mosaic again. The six channels are Faux News Channel, CNN, MSNBC, Headline News, C-SPAN, and C-SPAN2 (incorrectly referred to as CSPN2 in the article).


Recap of the Recap

10 days ago, I missed a Retailer Chat simply by forgetting to be on SatelliteGuys a lot. (I joined SatelliteGuys later than I joined DBSTalk, and it's more habitual for me to go to DBSTalk.) I rammed into an EKB ad on my way in (with the line "Dish News and Chat Recaps" - obviously, I haven't kept up on the second part of the deal). But here it is!

Dish has positive income! Their next large debt payment is in three years.

Uh-oh...retailer termination mania! I wonder why...is it because Charlie can't seem to keep his HD head afloat?

AT&T, who has stopped reselling Dish, was big in providing subscribers to Dish - but they have to move on, for better or worse.

Jim DeFranco also said that the DTV transition would generate business for Dish.

On 22 October, a lot of markets were to transition to Eastern Arc - Abilene, Atlanta, Birmingham, Chattanooga, Columbia/Jefferson City, Des Moines, Florence-Myrtle Beach, Fort Myers, Huntsville, Jackson MS, Joplin, Lincoln, Memphis, Mobile, Omaha, Quincy, Sherman-Ada, South Bend, St. Louis, Topeka, Waco, and Wichita Falls. Wichita Falls did not get Eastern Arc stuff on Wednesday. HD locals were to be launching in the italicized markets.

Effective on Wednesday, all new Dish customers in Dallas require a Western Arc solution. Dallas is moving BACK to 110/119.

Dish has another satellite launching in December.

New international package: GMA Pinoy ($19.99/month) for four channels and a Mega Pack for $23.99. The package is intended for Filipinos.

New commercial TurboHD packages start at $39.99 for...commercial customers.

When setting up an Eastern Arc dish, peak it at 72.7!

When the new satellite is at 77, customers will not need to Check Switch to get 77 West. 1000.4-equipped receivers automatically run a check switch at night.

USB storage has been renamed the canned "My Media". Yucko.

THE TECH FORUM IS BACK! November 10 sees the return of the real Tech Forum, Mark Jackson, Dan Minnick, and News Monitor recaps of the Tech Forum. Topics include future products, Sling, external hard drives, Ethernet, and more.

The DTVPal Plus has a slightly better tuner which may give you better reception.

Yay WildBlue! An end segment was devoted to it. Only northern Maine and eastern Texas spilling over into the Texarkana area have problems. Not bad.


HAPPY BIRTHDAY, NEWS MONITOR! Today, the News Monitor turns 1, and it gets some birthday cake in the form of a modernization and some new pages. All of the news previously here has finally been relegated back to the 2008 archives, which one now reaches by clicking "Archives" and then "2008".

HTML cleanup time! 2000 news archives also get the new look, but I will not roll it out to the others. I felt like I was living in the United Ampersands of the EchoStar Knowledge Base. I cleaned up scores of URLs just to get the thing valid and HTML 4.01 Strict.

ChangeDetection widget removed from the page (but still available). It had some attributes that screwed up any type of HTML validation whatsoever, as they used HTML 4.01 Transitional coding.

NetNewsWire backlog: Thursday saw Tom Eagan lower his Dish estimates to 30,000 LOST in Q3 from 20,000 gained. The confirmation of KBWB Azteca América is also in my backlog, as is Eagan's buy rating of DirecTV and the probability of AT&T acquiring it increasing, Bryan Kraft of Bank of America Securities giving his "buy" to Time Warner Cable, Comcast, Liberty Entertainment, DirecTV, and Dish.

Week of 20 October 2008


YARR! Welcome to federal prison, pirate!

DirecTV does a redo of a botched HR-20 software update.

DirecTV added three MORE HD markets today with shiny HD locals.

Something about TiVo on Gizmodo? Oooh.

New to MPEG4: WJTC and KTVG. New to 148: KBHE Rapid City.

KQFX MPEG4 was also added but unavailable.

International preview dance time!

Some 4xxx channels were made available.

Rejoice, Des Moines, Lincoln, Hannibal, Jefferson City, Omaha, Temple TX, South Bend, Mobile, Chattanooga, Pensacola, Topeka, Florence (SC), Joplin, Birmingham, Abilene, Atlanta, Fort Myers, Huntsville, and Jackson MS! You have either new HD or new SD MPEG4 channels!

Week of 13 October 2008

Wednesday: Uplink Report Highlights

Odd things happened. There was some testing going on in the 5900s that shuffled around.

An international channel was added to 749 today: RKINO.

Some additions were made to the odd 4000 range on 72.7.

There are MPEG2 SD locals in Billings and Rapid City in the 5100s, on 148 no less. Things are moving from 148 to 110, so that may be why.

Rejoice, Alaska! The home of Sarah Palin now has some (West)ern Arc MPEG4 channels on 148 and KUAC in HD and some odd craziness with moves to 110. A 29s46 now exists on 110 with certain Alaska channels.

New and coming soon to screens near you: KHQA HD (from the Barrington deal), KTLA/KWGN HD, WLMT MPEG4, WWMB MPEG4, KOAM-KFJX MPEG4, WPCH MPEG4 SD (the HD channel was deleted), WXAX Tampa (new to both MPEG4 and MPEG2), and KUDF Tucson. WXAX and KUDF are Una Vez Más stations and carry Azteca América.

NOTAX was hidden.

KBWB-D (I believe an Azteca América affiliate) was turned on. It is mapped to channel 15.

Rejoice, San Antonio! KVDF (not KUDF) was turned on today and made available.

28 deletes on the menu: unavailable MPEG4 HD channels, test channels in the 5900s on 148, and unneeded MPEG4 SD channels were thrown out today.

Another market gets dragged to 110 - I think it's in Montana. (Billings.)


Right off the bat, this appeared in a Multichannel News article about Fox (Going-out-of) Business Network today: "Sources close to negotiations indicate that FBN is closing in on a deal with one of three main holdouts: Dish Network, Cablevision and Cox."

DBSTalk: channel 407 is for Puerto Rico subscribers, according to the one and only "neljtorres"!

Week of 6 October 2008


It's yummy news release soup day!

Sorry about me not seeing this about a week ago, but "SP" sent in something to the tipline about JUS channel 809 being a Punjabi channel.

EchoStar added a new board member. Joseph Clayton was the chairman of Sirius Satellite Radio from November 2004 to July of this year and CEO of Sirius from November 2001 to November 2004.

Dish signed some sort of national content and hardware distribution agreement with Pace International, which will apparently offer Dish to triple play operators.

Dish narrowly escaped losing WFXS at the end of last month.

LOTS of international channels moved around at 61.5 yesterday.

Wednesday: Uplink Report Highlights

The word of the day is REJOICE, as many markets will be able to!

REJOICE, Southwest Florida and Myrtle Beach! WZVN, WBBH, and WFXB were added and made available today!

International channels did the preview dance.

REJOICE, southeastern Pennsylvania! WNEP HD is available, but no WOLF or Nexstar person is coming near the HD bandwagon anytime soon. But WNEP is the far-and-away market leader.

Rejoice, Madison! You have everything but WMSN in MPEG4SD and WMSN in HD.

Rejoice, Greenville! WNCT HD is a step closer with a new city of license tag.

REJOICE, Hampton Roads! WVEC, WTKR, WAVY, and WVBT HD are now all available today!

Rejoice, Milwaukee! You've got some MPEG4 SD locals too.

Rejoice, Lansing! You've gotten MPEG4 SD locals too.

Rejoice, New Bern! You're getting closer to more MPEG4 SD locals with city of license tags in the mix.

Rejoice, Orlando! More great MPEG4 SD goodness was turned on for you today. A bit later, W21AU was added.

Rejoice, Tallahassee! WACX MP4SD was turned on today.

Rejoice, Beaumont, Kalamazoo, Boston, and West Palm Beach! You have also received MPEG4 SD locals.

CSNWS was changed to CSNCA. Comcast SportsNet has relaunched the rest of its regional sports channels (the Bay Area one was the first) and in doing so renamed CSN West to CSN California. The web page looks mixed, but new graphics speak volumes.

Monday: It's a TiVictory

Dish announced this morning that they are signing a deal with Gravitas for their on-demand services.

Dish stock took a tumble this morning and came right back up - based on one reason alone (beside the tanking market). The Supreme Court has denied Dish appeal in TiVo v. EchoStar. Dish stock fell to about $17 at the first publishing of the article and had rebounded to about $17.70 in real-time trading.

UPDATE: Gizmodo is saying Dish will have to pay $104 million (plus interest) - but TiVo wants more. Multichannel News also reports on the story, as does Broadcasting and Cable. TiVo stock is up by a very slim margin today.

Week of 29 September 2008


SatelliteGuys received a Dish Network statement today about channel 73:

"DISH Network Channel 73 is paid advertising by the Obama campaign and is not an endorsement of Senator Obama by DISH Network. DISH Network made the same offer to the McCain campaign, an offer that remains open."

Wednesday: Uplink Report Highlights

Ciel 2 filings! Hip hip 129 hooray!

EchoStar is providing TP space to a satellite Internet company.

Could the end of the Dish reselling pact signal more subscriber losses?

Another new international channel was added today: JUS on 809. If you know what it is, email our tipline.

Could a Dish subscriber tell me what they see on 73? 5890, which maps down to there, was added today. It's got one heck of a guide name now - OBAMA. (It's a paid channel, don't worry. [Paid for by Obama for America 2008])

Several local markets were added to the test range on 148. The actual locals for those markets - Medford, Cheyenne, and Lubbock - moved to 110 or 119.

Added today but unavailable: KBWB-D (an Azteca America affiliate) in San Francisco and KVDF (surprise surprise, more Una Vez Más action for San Antonio).

The NBA and NHL channels were made available.

Whatever TELAM is, it's now available.

KIAH HD in Houston was turned on.

Rejoice, Corpus Christi! You too have a new local channel: KTOV.

Week of 22 September 2008

Wednesday: KTSM, Sling Media, DTVPal, AT&T, and Uplink Report Highlights with MPEG4 SD

EL PASO ALERT! Charlie has declared war on KTSM and could go by the end of the year.

A new generation of DTVPal is coming, which includes a tuner for weaker signal areas and analog pass-through.

An extension has been made to the AT&T/Dish reselling deal.

Sling Media watch: SlingPlayer 2.0 is out of beta and the PRO-HD SlingBox could ship soon.

DirecTV extended an international deal.

The film from Cheyenne is in, and so Uplink Report Highlights is finally here!

Some internationals did a package flag shuffle, some moved off of 61.5, and some prepared to do the same.

If it went last week, it came back this week - but in less glorious MPEG4 SD.

Lost in the sea, but good news to rejoice is coming in Hannibal: KHQA-DT, the CBS affiliate not carried on cable systems. This is one of those Quincy things (read: the call letters and that Barrington deal).

Preview channels did another dance.

Rejoice, North Dakota and southwestern Florida! The Peace Garden State is getting a double bouquet of KXMC and KNDX, while Fort Myers gets that WTPH look.

Get ready to rejoice, Des Moines! You're getting your HD locals soon, as they've just been uplinked to 61.5.

Week of 15 September 2008

Wednesday: YAWN

WEYI HD is here and on.

WGN America was added to 4239.

KTOV, the MyNetworkTV affiliate in Corpus Christi, is coming. Soon.

Lots of EPG additions.

TELAM was added at 842 to 110. Ding the tip line if you know this channel.

826 is on...called "SPORT" but historically the channel for La Académia.

Four new international channels from 717 to 723. Ding the tip line to give me the missing pieces.

Several HD locals (unavailable) were deleted.


The tip line bell rang today from the one and only dsscpu (my tip line golden contributor):

"Channel 5990, ‘TEST’ on E11 has EPG title saying ‘Local channels moving starting 5/7’, EPG info saying ‘Please contact DISH Network at 1-888-255-4791 for an important FREE equipment upgrade’ but the content on there is what is revealing. The channel appeared for a few minutes in true fta today and it is the LIVE camera that is onboard the Echostar 11 satellite that is pointed towards earth. The image updated every 5 seconds or so and was a rather neat watch before it went scrambled again."

Could we see this as a live channel soon?


I distinctly remember DirecTV having the slogan "Somebody Up There Loves You" for a time. That slogan can go down the drain: nobody loves Whoopi Goldberg (or Sherri Sheppard, who has a Time Horror story on her hands).

Good installations: A Time Warner worker was just getting into his company van when someone shouted for help. Their child was having a seizure; the worker rushed him into the company van and took him to the hospital.

Week of 8 September 2008

Thursday: Barrington Bears Down

We're in full retrans consent swing, but it's time to Rejoice, Columbia-Jefferson City! KRCG is back! and with it WEYI HD and KHQA in Quincy. (WEYI is the NBC affiliate in Flint, Michigan.)

The Outdoor Channel will be with DirecTV for a little while more...

Wednesday: Citadel Falls Down To Earth, Midwest Rejoices

Yesterday, I spotted an uplink containing 4 changes - Citadel stations moving. Turns out my prediction was right and I can yell it out now: Rejoice, Midwest!

A new international channel was added to 118.7 today, and it's called AIT. It is either a Portuguese-Brazil or Greek channel, based on placement.

A bunch of package flag changes for internationals. NHL Network turned on.

W. Boyd (the ABC station in Clarksburg, West Virginia) was turned on today. Rejoice, Clarksburg.

WDTV also changed package flags.

Some new locals in MPEG4 SD for a variety in markets: WDJT, WPTY, WPFO, WPMI, WEYI, KGIN, WWMT, WPEC, WKBW, WAAY, WDBD. Not available.

The NOTAX channel is back on 211. The Republican National Convention channel vanished last night.

Get ready to rejoice, Little Rock! KETS is coming soon in glorious MPEG2 SD. It's a major addition, being the PBS-AETN flagship station!

NetNewsWire is a godsend, because I can create smart lists with "Dish" in there and get all the News Monitor content. CBS CEO Moonves said, "We have begun are conversations with some of the bigger guys that are up this year, including Cablevision [Systems] and EchoStar", according to Multichannel News.

Week of 1 September 2008

Thursday: It's 3AM, And Your Children Are Sound Asleep...

Whoa, Dish pulled a fast one! It's 3am and Dish Network already has some stuff for the Uplink Report Highlights Machine to process.

Shuffles for EPG OTA guides.

NHL Network has been added to 403/625 unavailable.

A mapdown fix occurred in Lincoln and Tulsa.

Shuffle at 110: TPs changed FEC.

MHD is now Palladia. Guide name fix to reflect that.

News: Ensequence is giving more ITV goodness with the VMAs. Yuck-o.

Speaking of interactive, DirecTV and the Olympics did well.

Nexstar, the infamous low-budget low-market TV operator, signed some retrans consent deals with DirecTV and AT&T.

TiVo shares fell 16.5% today in joyous news for Dish people: no decision in the contempt case. DBSTalk has a copy of the transcript and Multichannel News looks at the TiVo stocks.

Wednesday: Could JBuff Come Back!?

Well, at this rate, it could very well happen. Multichannel News, Broadcasting and Cable, and Engadget (and now Gizmodo and BetaNews) are reporting that the devil is on ice and that DirecTiVo will return in the second half of 2009. It's another slap in the face of TiVo v. EchoStar and Charlie Ergen, but it's competition news anyway - so the News Monitor is reporting on it.

Uplink Report Highlights may happen on Thursday. Scott thinks that it's going to be a day behind with Labor Day.

Scott also said that a really scary scenario could have struck down another HD-only channel today:

"Takedown of HDNet and HDNet Movies Effective Sunday, August 31, 2008 (11:59pm PT), HDNet and HDNet Movies have discontinued delivery of their channel to DISH Network customers. DISH Network deeply regrets the disruption of service, but prior to the loss of HDNet and HDNet Movies, the networks refused to negotiate a fair and reasonable price that fairly reflected the channels’ overall ratings, performance, and value for continued carriage. DISH Network continues to have the lowest all digital price everyday for our customers. In order to remain the best value for our customers and offer competitive pricing for their programming, we, at times, have to have an interruption of service while we negotiate for low pricing. In the meantime, DISH Network recommends programming similar to HDNet on the ESPN HD (Ch. 140) and MHD (Ch. 369, name changing to Palladia on 9/3/08), while comparable programming for HDNet Movies can be found on Universal HD (Ch. 366) and MGM HD (Ch.385)."

Whoa, that's a scary thought to have HDNet gone. Mark Cuban must be going crazy.


It happened six days ago, but it's official: The Golf Channel is now at AT200 following a new carriage deal with Dish. That means that the channel now has 80 million homes in its portfolio.

Week of 25 August 2008


The Battle for the Citadel is still on. Charlie Ergen's army, known as Dish Network, is battling the rulers of the Citadel, Citadel Broadcasting. But they've reached their stalemate, as Citadel says Charlie is being inflexible.

EchoStar 8 is being retired from 110 duty with EchoStar 11 on site.

Dish has filed with the FCC over the possibility that large compensation disputes could leave some without television stations as digital dawns.

716 stations aren't done with construction, 234 of which claimed special circumstances. 10 had to deal with Mexico, 5 with Game and Fish/Wildlife Department clearance. 92 had to talk with other stations, 60 needed a new digital channel, 56 remarked on "unique technical circumstances" (weather, side-mounted antennas, or unforeseen problems (9/11)), 35 claiming financial hardship, and one black sheep in Minnesota that is moving from 57 to 10 (UHF to VHF) and will take until 21 February 2009 (the transition occurs on the 17th of that month). It's KBRR // KVRR (Fargo).

Three more info slates found their way to the 5900s; two on 129 tp 21 and another on 110 tp 6.

Get ready to rejoice, Fort Myers! You're getting WTPH channel 14, a low-power Azteca América affiliate - and it's not from Una Vez Más either!

Channel 407 no longer exists; also gone are some China channels moving to 118 and the Olympic channels.

A bunch of package flags changed, implying freeview changes.

Rejoice now, Tampa! WMOR HD is now on channel 5154 for you.

853 has been converted to Fox Sports en Español.

Several PBS stations in statewide networks were renamed but not changed otherwise.

Tp 3 at EchoStar 8-11 jumped to FEC 7/8 and tp 17 at 148 jumped to FEC 5/6.


More recently, any market getting locals in new formats got a "Rejoice!" banner from me. But I can finally say Rejoice, America: Inspiration Network is more than doubling its 25-million-strong carriage base OVERNIGHT to 56 million with a double launch on Dish and DirecTV. This channel is not new to Dish satellites; it was once part of Sky Angel but was removed before Sky Angel went IPTV.

The Consumerist presents more bad customer service from a DirecTV subcontractor in Cincinnati.

Good DirecTV news: Farm Aid - which helps farmers and is backed by Whole Foods Market and Horizon Organic - will be airing on The 101 from 4 to 11pm ET.

Is Eastern Arc a first for pay TV?

Verizon FiOS loses analog in Texas.

U-verse is coming into South Bend with some fighting Irish luck.

WildBlue, a satellite Internet provider, is going with a new leasing business model. We've covered them once on the News Monitor before.

Another channel is coming to the HD planet: ESPNU HD will make its grand debut Thursday - but whether Dish will carry it is unknown yet.

DirecTV is going interactive for tennis' U.S. Open - with CBS.

MediaFlo has added three news channels to its mobile service.

Week of 18 August 2008


Here's the TR-40. This is the $40 model with analog pass-through. Also mentioned are Dish's new Welcome Packs, 20 top channels and locals for $14.99.

Wednesday: 72.7th Heaven: 630 CHANGES TODAY, NEARLY 680 INCLUDING MONDAY

Some of you in West Virginia are in for a treat! W. Boyd, also known as Your ABC, is coming soon on 7910m52 to the Clarksburg market.

DNC08 was flicked on.

Two more internationals are slidin' off 61.5! GLBL1 and TELSD are about to move.

INSP was reuplinked on 259 and removed from 9636.

Discovery Networks channels received new guide names.

More RSNs are hidden in an HD haze in the 5400.

72.7 is on! All of the channels there were turned on today in glorious MPEG4 SD. There's no slate for it.

Rejoice, Columbia, Greensboro, Virginia Beach, Hartford, Detroit, DC, Philly, Dallas, Chicago, Cleveland, Nashville, Twin Cities, Charlotte, Tampa, Charm City, Knoxville, Green Bay, and Richmond! ALL of you have glorious shining MPEG4 SD locals on Eastern Arc.

LF1's on again! Our tip line is waiting to see what's on.


A ton of locals moved into different engineering statuses.

The rocket that killed AMC-14 seems not to be killing Inmarsat-4 at ILS.

A Dish reseller drops the F-bomb!?

Week of 11 August 2008


Has Dish gone silent in the Citadel wars?

Multichannel News doubles up on tru2way news.

Uplink Report Highlights

A channel labeled DNC08 was added to channel 211 on 110 and 72.7, replacing the NOTAX channel. This is because Dish was named the official satellite provider for the Democratic National Convention and will offer uninterrupted, unedited live coverage of the convention on channel 211 during the convention. The feed will be available in HD at the convention and to television stations for downlink.

WMOR HD was added for the Tampa market.

Several new channels were added: two info channels (5998-99) at tp 21 at 110 (which WHBF and WOI moved to - hint hint) and a video channel at 148.

TNT and HDNet Movies MPEG2 HD are now on 6201 and 6202, possibly so an MPEG4 variant could be added.

Inspiration Network will be coming soon at 9636.

International preview changes. Two channels - TRACE and ISMOV - are moving off 61.5.

Rejoice, Piedmont Triad, Boston, and Nashville! HD locals on 61.5 in those areas were flicked on today.

Bad news for Filipino customers: Channel 712, the Mabuhay Channel, was yanked today. Dish was the only provider to carry the channel in the U.S. It was added on 22 July 2004, according to their website. It had previously been unavailable anyway.

WDCO changed to WMUM. This call letter change occurred two years ago, a new Dish Network record. It's still actually a mirror of the flagship in Atlanta.


EchoStar will be backing cable-supported tru2way - this is the equipment manufacturer, not Dish Network.


Arr, ye mateys! Dish just plundered one million dollars in buried treasure from a fraudulent retailer! Arr!

John Malone weighs in on the merger talks.

BetaNews: The cloud DVR decision affects a public comment portion of another copyright decision, this time on streaming Internet radio.

Ol' Charlie might have put a filing 10 minutes too early, and now it's EchoStar-dog-eat-Intelsat-dog at 85.

Is U-verse cable?

The Big News: We've Moved

Remember how I told you a while ago about a flurry of events going on behind EKB closed doors? Well...all that was because we've done some big stuff. BIG stuff. We've moved the entire EKB to a new home on new servers, all to help make sure that we're neutral. Some SatelliteGuys people thought we were tied to DBSTalk when we only had a place on their servers. But don't worry. The News Monitor will still work the same way. The change log will be back soon.

Week of 4 August 2008


Chase Carey thinks the merger talks are bogus.

Speaking of DirecTV, it got 129,000 NEW subscribers.

Interactive Olympics with Ensequence.

Contracts update.


The Olympic channels were turned on.

Broadcasting and Cable, Multichannel News: Dish thinks that the DTV transition should come with some retrans consent restrictions so that no signals get pulled.


The Consumerist publishes Dish's executive contact numbers.

After the Wall Street Journal reports Charlie is thinking about a merger with his competitor, Dish and DirecTV won't comment.


Multichannel News finally picks up the GOL TV story.

$41 million is going to EchoStar as insurance proceeds from AMC-14. Total revenue jumped 46% year-over-year to $483 million and reported net income this year - it sustained losses last Q2.

Cablevision's got its head in the clouds, and for good reason: its network DVR ("cloud DVR" as it might be termed) is good to go. Craig Moffett claimed a victory for cable operators.

Expect Dish's stock to lose some value: Dish Network lost 25,000 subs in Q2, becoming the first ever US satellite operator to do so, according to Craig Moffett. Their SEC filing says that the housing market and promotions by DirecTV, cable, and telco cable service bundles (FiOS, U-verse), as well as direct Internet distribution of programs.

Other stats: Dish had total revenue of $2.91 billion, more than 5% up from $2.76 billion. Net income jumped by a third over last year ($224 million) to $336 million. Basic earnings per share also jumped at the same rate, from 50 to 75 cents per share. Then there's five channels Dish is having problems wrangling in, four of them high-profile Big Four locals in the Midwest.


It's rare that the News Monitor brings a weekend story, but we missed another silent change on Friday: several sources are bringing up GOL TV and its departure from Dish. GOL TV's website (the first source) does say that it is no longer available on Dish "despite efforts" to keep it. The other sources note that Setanta Sports has replaced GOL TV.

Week of 28 July 2008

Friday, Saturday

Site note: Fixes to possible display errors in Internet Explorer 6-based browsers. HTML 4.01 Strict validation took place yesterday, with the chief issue being entity definitions with the ampersand in URLs.

TurboHD is on! A slew of channels became available today but hidden. Lifetime, LMN, CBS College Sports are stretchovision, but the latter is reported [Multichannel News] to be having HD college football soon. 6799 changed names to "TURBO". In the early morning hours, a Turbo-charged HD timer countdown (EPG "Turbo Upgrade in Progress" appeared on several channels, including ESPN2HD, ESPN, A&E, Showtime, Bravo, TBS, and HBO. MPEG2 HD will not be upgraded. Encore HD on for AT250 Ultimate and reported to be on the Essentials package.

That software update is L610 for the 722, L520 for the 211, and others yet unknown to SatelliteGuys.

DBSTalk, Multichannel News, Broadcasting and Cable: All Citadel stations are no longer on Dish Network. Here is the contact information for Citadel Broadcasting:

7201 W. Lake Mead Blvd., Suite 400
Las Vegas, NV 89128

DBSTalk: San Diego viewer alert: Today, KSWB and XETV swapped affiliations, KSWB becoming a Fox affiliate and XETV taking on The CW. However, KSWB is getting mapped to 6-0 and XETV to 69-0. And to make matters worse, KSWB identifies as channel 5. XETV HD has been replaced with KSWB HD.

In retrospect, this has been one heck of a week. Multiple uplinks every single weekday, large amounts of news articles, double and triple sources, lots of high-profile news. Next Monday is even more mission critical as Dish and EchoStar release earnings for Q2 and a bunch of other goodies.

Thursday: Uplink Report Highlights, Retrans Consent, and 1080p

75 was removed and replaced with 6799 map 75.

Two PBS mirrors jumped to MPEG4 SD from MPEG2 ViP.

NYC Eastern Arc locals received their city of license tags and are now available but hidden.

Multichannel News, Gizmodo, BetaNews, Broadcasting and Cable: Get ready for a software update! This one will enable 1080p resolution on Dish Network, but given how everything's either 1080i or 720p, it might not work. They will do movies in 1080p, such as I Am Legend coming TOMORROW. (There's been a lot of news that Gizmodo's been covering, abnormally, in addition to my normal roulette of Broadcasting and Cable and Multichannel News.)

WBBH-TV: Fort Myers viewers might be having some Dish problems with Waterman Broadcasting...

Wednesday: Uplink Report Highlights, Olympic Edition

Lincoln, Nebraska here, telling you that your precious KLKN might go under the retrans consent knife. All Citadel stations are affected: KCAU has an Important Viewer Advisory on its front page as well.

The Olympics are on the top of the heap this week, as a slew of channel changes got made with NBV Universal channels.

The dedicated Olympic basketball and soccer channels are now on 365 and 367 - conveniently mapped to 99 and 98 too!

The multiview channels are back in the swing of things for the X Games. A sixth channel has been added.

655 and 664 OLMPC/OLMPK channels added.

A ton of package flag changes for internationals, indicating a freeview change there. Meanwhile, the 6100 range has some hidden international treats from all over the world - their corresponding channels are on 61.5 tp 14 and presumably moving off the sat (tp 13 did the same thing at 121).

Rejoice one more time, Florence-Myrtle Beach SD local subscribers! WMBF SD has been added to 7840 map 32. The HD version of this DTV-from-day-one channel was added last week. Once again, 8 August is the launch date.

Two PBS mirrors were removed at 8856 and 9346.

NEWS! now is just INFO5. 9450 is an unavailable test channel and has also reverted back to MPEG4 SD. It might be an info slate for all those Citadel stations.

Freeview mania! Biography, Planet Green, Oxygen, and MSNBC changed package flags. Oddly, the NBC Universal channels are going AWAY from the freeview. Also changing package flags is a data channel in the 19000 range.

As part of the Olympic mania, Universal HD got a package flag change too.

The Greek channels and Indian channels had a package flag shuffle.

Rejoice, Houston! I read a story recently that KHCW would be changing to KIAH. This change is now in the EPG.

DBSTalk: Channel 710 in the Filipino range might get the plug pulled.

DBSTalk: Cleveland locals are down as of 08:08 GMT.

Kotaku: DirecTV is offering a video game convention for pay-per-view. Yes, I am not kidding.

Tuesday: 72.7 West News?

Today's Uplink Report Highlights is focused on two satellites at the end of the Dish spectrum. Notably, the first channels have been added to 72.7: 100, 166, 239, 322, 341, 345, 346, 456, 457, 494, 495, 496, 19007 (VOD), 19206 (Olympics multiview), and the Extended EPG.

Channels 533, 573, and 580 disappeared from 61.5 and 148 and 5992 also went off 61.5.

A minor shuffle of TPs at 119 and a big one at 61.5. A ton of internationals and other channels moved TPs there - even PI, Business TV, employee channels, and the 61.5 channel weren't safe. JohnH noted that as of that posting (early in the morning hours), there was no detectable signal from EchoStar VI at the nascent satellite location, though is very close to its new home.

Broadcasting and Cable, Multichannel News: August 1st is a red-letter day for DirecTV as it launches Eurocinema, which is a foreign-film on demand service, on its DirecTV On Demand platform.

Gizmodo: There's also another red-letter day at DirecTV: August 14. On that date, 30 new HD channels will appear, some of which are premium channels. Some are in the works for Dish or are there already: Planet Green HD, ABC Family HD. Additional PPV channels and 23 regional sports networks are also coming - and when DirecTV 12 comes to life next year, it will push the number up to 200!

Gizmodo: Gizmodo has another interesting headline about FiOS.

Monday: Digital Television Mania and NY HD Wars - and DirecTV

Broadcasting and Cable: Get ready, Poughkeepsie and Fond du Lac. One station each in those two cities is going digital. Keep in mind that digital isn't always HD.

Broadcasting and Cable: "This TV" is another new channel for stations to put on .2, a partnership between MGM and Weigel Broadcasting. (Will WCIU end up with another subchannel!?)

Broadcasting and Cable: An interesting cover story on WMBF, the all-DTV NBC affiliate for Florence-Myrtle Beach set to launch in just ten days. It will be HD/DTV from day one and has Dish retrans deals.

What you never knew about the News Monitor. Yes, we have a seemingly colossal amount of external links compared to internal links.

Cablevision's adding 15 HD channels in New York, but Verizon is putting 100 in its FiOS package. (Both articles from Multichannel News)

Multichannel News: And if all that HD wasn't enough, 44 markets will get HD locals from DirecTV by the end of the year. Beginning in August, locals for markets such as Boise, Baton Rouge, Rochester, Syracuse, El Paso-Las Cruces, and Toledo will be turned on.

Week of 21 July 2008


BusinessWeek via SatelliteGuys: Is Dish a sinking ship?

Multichannel News: HR 3679 update: The committee has agreed to move it forward. 3679 would help level the playing field in terms of satellite taxes.

Broadcasting and Cable: With XM-Sirius about to come to a last end, could Dish-DirecTV be next? No.

Wednesday: Uplink Report Highlights

The NHL channels are up in the old MLB range, while the old ones are gone. Only 626 is available.

New international channel: TV9 on 807 at 118. TV9/Sneha TV (website) has Kannada and Telugu-language feeds.

Lifetime and LMN HD have been added to the 4000 range.

Shuffle in Florence-Myrtle Beach: 5172 went from being WFXB to WMBF (the Raycom-owned NBC affiliate launching on 8 August), 5173 became WFXB, and WWMB (the CW affiliate) was readded on 5174. I will probably be yelling out "Rejoice!" next week for this market.

Birmingham locals now have {city of license tags}.

NHL Network was added to 9540 and 9541 map 403 and 113. 403 proper was removed.

Channel 5340 was removed. ESPNEWS had moved in the first place.

WMOR MPEG4 on 61.5 was removed from its beam. It never was available.

Another MPEG4 removal: 9400 and 9401's variants are gone.

Channels 9556-58 were removed.

8700 and 8703 MPEG4 SD moved from tp 7 to tp 1 and 3, respectively.

Rejoice, Asheville-Greenville-Spartanburg! You have shiny new MPEG4 SD locals, including WMYA, WYCW, WNTV, WUNC, WNEG, and WGGS. You need the 61.5 satellite for these locals.


Rejoice, Shreveport! KTBS and Dish Network have reached a deal (video link). 7014 was removed and 7015 jumped back to tp 27s15 at 110, according to JohnH's Uplink Report.

JTV gained a mapdown of 86 and NHL Network HD (9542) had a mapdown and availability change to 114 and available. PBS XD MPEG4 lost its mapdown to 90, as did 560 at 77W.

SatelliteGuys: School starts up the day Dish has its earnings call, which means that coverage WILL be delayed here.

SatelliteGuys: Could Ciel-2 be coming earlier than expected to save 129?


When somebody up there doesn't love you: a DirecTV installer is looking at anywhere up to seven years of prison time because he stole more than $5,000 from a customer's locked safe. And he's only 21 years old.

Week of 14 July 2008


SatelliteGuys: 705 Sears stores will now carry the DTVPal.

Delayed presser fun: They've finally officially announced those Beaumont TX locals.

Thursday: Even More Uplink Report Highlights

The storm is coming! A slew of announced HD channels, including the HBO suite, Planet Green (9459), Lifetime, LMN, the Starz suite, and Encore HD have been added, and a temp channel now will be CBS College Sports. At the same time, a slew of HD test channels were also yanked. At the same time, an Ontario poster (non-legit Dish service?) noticed that 376, which he said was a test channel for MOJO, was removed.


Consumerist: The FCC fined a Dish telemarketing firm $75,000 for hanging up on customers. They used automated systems, which were then supposed to connect to a telemarketer. But there would sometimes be too many customers than telemarketers.

EchoStar XI's launch has gained significant coverage: Multichannel News says it went off without a hitch but that EchoStar II bit the dust (DBSTalk reports, as does SatelliteGuys) - forcing all of the channels to be moved. Gizmodo also chimed in, mentioning incorrectly that the satellite's launch was tied to the 17 new HD channels (those will go on 61.5 and 129). Broadcasting and Cable also mentions that this is an SS/L satellite designed for 15 years of service. It is a 20kW-power satellite.

Uplink Report Highlights is still strong this week:

Planet Green HD (4194) and ActionMax (9479) are added but not available. 75 is back, but hidden.

A slew of package flag changes for 581, 678, 680, 681, 697, 708.

Rejoice, Beaumont and Bozeman (and Helena, too)! You either have two HD locals or PBS!

Some minor shuffles to the test range.


Multichannel News: Now we know why Comcast SportsNet Philly was hiding under the terrestrial loophole. (There's probably some PRISM stuff hiding in the Spectrum, for all I know.) The News Monitor has previously done a feature about PRISM and the FCC-sanctioned quirks of why its successor can't get onto satellite.

Here goes! A slew of moves at 148 leave the evens vacant.

Week of 7 July 2008

Thursday: Recap of the Recap, Retailer Chat, SatelliteGuys

HD locals planned to launch by 30 July: Abilene, Fargo, Greenville NC, Madison, Myrtle Beach, Sherman-Ada, South Bend, Waco, Wichita Falls, Northeast Pennsylvania (Scranton, Wilkes-Barre).

Also this summer: Columbia-Jefferson City (we've had news about it recently), Des Moines, Joplin, Omaha, Lincoln NE, Quincy, Topeka.

A new value option is called the Welcome Pack, which includes 20 channels among which are Food Network, TBS, MSNBC, and the Weather Channel. (really lame name alert). There's also a Dish Latino flavor. You can get locals OR the Welcome Pack (and in DL flavor for the same price) for $9.99 or both for $14.99 beginning 1 August.

TurboHD by Dish Network, The Only 100% HD Service! 17 new channels 1 August, and now Multichannel News is backing it up! We're going BACK to Bronze, Silver, Gold! The new channels are the HBO, Starz/Encore ones (Encore HD launches likely next week, "middle of this month" stated) plus Lifetime, LMN HD (the News Monitor called it first, and a delay to 21 July for Cox's Lifetime HD rollout means Cox still gets it first!), one Cinemax channel, Planet Green HD, and CBS College Sports HD.

1 August also seems to be MPEG-4 Day for dumping MPEG-2. Also: new customers with low credit scores will not be able to use debit cards after that date (credit cards only), new DHA customers must pay a $99 registration fee as of that date if they want no commitment (THAT'S it, Dish!), and new DHA customers will get the 612 as their base receiver.

New residential and commercial promotions.

Existing customers cannot downgrade to the Bronze HD Only package.

All of this is not contingent on EchoStar XI's successful launch.

Wednesday: Uplink Report Highlights

A string of new MPEG4 SD test channels added at 148 tp 8. They're packing in 25 channels on that one TP!

ESPN2 on 5301 was deleted and replaced with ESPNEWS.

Rejoice, Nashville, Twin Cities, Atlanta, and Birmingham! You now have 61.5-style HD locals. Do note that WPCH is not in the Atlanta package...yet.

EchoStar XI Newswatch: SatelliteGuys: The Sea Launch vessels have departed Home Port and are heading for the late-night (at least for the News Monitor, as it is scheduled for 22:21 PDT) launch of EchoStar XI, the 110 satellite that relieves EchoStar XIII there. The launch site is at 154 West, meaning it must go 44 degrees toward Arizona (this new sat is right in line with the eastern part of the state) to get to 110.

Tuesday: Uplink Report Highlights and HR 3679

Our tip line has paid off! Doug Mendenhall, Jr., from Harrisburg, PA, says it promotes HR 3679, the "State Video Tax Fairness Act", a resolution that levels the playing field currently in the House of Reps - write your rep, etc. All subs, I assume now. stopsatellitetax.com, a site operated by Dish and DirecTV, has some more information on this. Florida, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, and Utah currently have discriminatory DBS taxes.

NOTAX is now at AT100 for all subscribers. See above for 211's info.

Lifetime Movie Network - officially LMN now - is now in AT200 - again! It was in AT250 after 2006's Lifetime dispute (and LMN's 895 mirror, which is now Oxygen, is how I got my big break at the EKB). SatelliteGuys has the press spin on things. Some people are thinking Lifetime and LMN HD are next. (Lifetime HD is set to be carried TOMORROW by Cox Arizona, making it about the first national channel Cox has that Dish doesn't already.)


Multichannel News: Cadbury's Sour Patch Kids, MTV Networks, and Dish Network are coming together in fruity interactive ad form. Exclusive voting on The N's Queen Bees premiere (Friday, 9pm ET/PT) is the centerpiece. Do be wary - if MTVN is letting Dish keep a split channel to do this, it will likely stay that way.

SatelliteGuys: By letting NPS provide distants for Dish, the latter is not in violation of its court-ordered injunction, according to the US Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit.

Week of 30 June 2008

Thursday: KRCGone and Others

SatelliteGuys: Dish is now a sponsor of the athletics department of the Tennessee Volunteers? And orange dishes? Hope that they're for 129 or the Channel Chart might confuse them.

ShowMeNews via SatelliteGuys: Show me some retransmission consent, Missouri! KRCG and Dish have had a falling-out in Columbia - and that means KRCG is leaving Dish. Looks like retrans consent is the problem here. UPDATE: KRCG has moved to tp 8 at 110, home of the retrans consent slide!

Wednesday: Uplink Report Highlights

International free previews changed.

The NOTAX channel reappeared - unavailable, of course.

Five new MPEG4 SD test channels at 148.

Get ready to rejoice, Chattanooga, Syracuse, Albany, and Lansing! WDEF, WDSI, WSTM, WSYT, WLNS, WSYM, WTEN, and WNYT HD are available but hidden in the 5100s.

Rejoice now, Dallas, Detroit, and Charlotte! You now have HD locals at 61.5!

The multiview channels are now hidden and using DISHx names.

Earlier, a bunch of channels moved at 110 on the Road to EchoStar 11!


I'm sorry. This is kind of a mash up of two code revisions and new changes.

Multichannel News: The big HD launch schedule is here. Among the markets are Albany, Madison, Des Moines, Syracuse, NE Pennsylvania (already uplinked), and Topeka.

Multichannel News: AT&T is stopping its Dish reselling at the end of the year under a 2003 agreement, but is looking to what it should do beyond that.

Week of 23 June 2008

Broadcasting and Cable: The DTVPal became available.

Note: I only posted one news item in the week otherwise - a DBSTalk version of Uplink Report Highlights.

Week of 16 June 2008


James Long on the ESPN2 move: "It looks like a mass renumbering of HD is coming ... some signs of that already, but I wouldn't expect numbers we see (other than the SD range mapdowns) to remain consistent."

Channel 4180 was turned on, but it's hidden. It also gained a mapdown to 180.

Wednesday: Uplink Report Highlights

Site note UPDATE 9.24pm PDT: The link to the change log has been removed due to upcoming changes under a non-disclosure agreement at this time. It will return soon.

But before that, how about some tasty news?

Oh, we've got some 77 West News today: Aransay's got hardware! Thankfully, somebody was able to translate it into English:

The IRD interface was in Spanish, but he couldn't watch a single channel. The IRD was a Dish 301 with a 500-style antenna that had a GRAY Dish logo. He saw how the antenna was mounted. It was almost at floor level. He thought that he saw a motor in the antenna, but he isn't sure. The LNB is a single DP.

Also from 77 West News, another user posts an FCC filing about Charlie's plans for the location for the US - which include moving EchoStar 8 over.

Multichannel News: It seems like Dish and AT&T could be drifting apart further.

Consumerist: Now that's bad DirecTV installation.

Multichannel News: Versus and the Golf Channel are getting separate HD feeds, and E! is also getting one. All of this will occur in December.

Uplink Report Highlights

A new MPEG2 SD/flagged HD channel is on 9450 at 110: "NEWS!" I hope it's good news, though someone at SatelliteGuys theorized that it could be the death of MPEG2 HD.

There's something on channel 75 mapped down from 6799. It is MPEG2 SD ViP with EPG name "HiDef". No video or audio yet.

Three new HD alternates on tp 20/61.5 (441-443/9517-9519). Unavailable.

HD added today: New Bern-Greenville-Washington NC and WOTV. All unavailable. WOTV is owned by LIN TV.

Now on 5302: MPEG4 version of ESPN2 HD. 5301's a dead duck, apparently.

Now on 61.5: Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Raleigh-Durham HD locals.

The free preview channels have changed for internationals.

WBSF in Bay City, Michigan now has a city of license flag.

WHTV and WKAR MPEG4SD moved from tp 15 to tp 1 at 61.5.

The US Open multiviews will be used for Wimbledon, according to name changes.


SatelliteGuys: There will be a free preview of Starz from Friday to Sunday this weekend. It was not announced, but notice was placed on the Starz page of the Dish Network site.


Site notes: Resynchronized the weeks back to Monday beginning this week and refreshed the 2007 archives with the newer style. Other housekeeping changes were made that are currently under a non-disclosure agreement as of this time.

In the meantime...let's use some filler from the Dish Sports Series! Last week was the history of PRISM and how it affects Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia. This week affects the West Coast, more specifically the San Diego area:

"Where are the Padres?"

Exclusivity in Cox-land, of course! Cox operates a local cable channel for San Diego, 4SD (similar to CN8 in the Northeast), that has the exclusivity rights to EVERY Padres game. Yep, all of them. So - in a CSN Philly situation - Cox blocks off access to the service from Dish and DirecTV. The deal lasts until 2011, so don't expect Cox to budge anytime soon.

Week of 10 June 2008


SatGuys: TiVo's big contempt motion is out, and the clouds on the horizon seem as black as the black in the TiVo logo.


DBSTalk: Press release about that movie that Dish has a PPV exclusive on.

I, too, express my deepest sympathy to the family of Tim Russert. He will be remembered.

Thursday: Raymie Called It...Again

Multichannel News: That brand-new Tribune agreement also provides for Dish to carry the OTHER HD signals that weren't added. (It rounds out to 23 stations in 19 markets.) One thing they missed was that WTIC was turned on as well.

77 West News: A lot of stuff, but in Spanish - and Google's translator botched EVERY aspect of it, down to the subject pronouns. Some alliance between Carlos Slim/Telmex to buy 51% of MVS is about the only news I can reason from this.

SatelliteGuys: A first look at the DTVPal.

SatelliteGuys: TerreStar purchased EchoStar's spectrum in the 1.4GHz range.

Wednesday: Uplink Report Highlights

On 61.5: three new HD package source channels.

A bunch of HD test channels either moved, were removed, or went from SD to HD today.

Dreams TV's free preview is over (in other words, your dream ended; wake up).

WTIC and WPIX, as well as WGN on 6316/129, are available. The WGN one does not have any local flags, yet is only available to Chicago market subscribers.

5327 and 9446 are now WGN America HD. Looks like a big Tribune deal was struck weeks ago.

Remember that KCPQ and KTXL test channels were added months ago. UPDATE: Yep, KCPQ and KTXL were flicked on. Raymie called it!

UPDATE: New TMP channel activity hints at one new item:

9428 TMP A: HBO HD, 9471 TMP D: STARZ HD, 9473 TMP F: HDNET, 9475 TMP H: HDNMW, 9476 TMP I: NFL HD, 9480 TMP M: TNT HD, 9481 TMP N: HIST HD, 9495 TMP T: CBS College Sports HD

UPDATE: Those KIDZ matured (8177 is on in Abilene), y KUVM es disponible.


Multichannel News: We knew Dish was to do a U.S. Open multiview system. This just confirms it.

Monday: Recap of the Recap, Charlie Chat Edition

Big things are coming with the Olympics, apparently. To prepare, they've added a slew of HD feeds. MSNBC is one of them, though the HD+ service is probably 16:9 SD or Stretch-O-Vision (S-O-V on NBC). Also coming - FINALLY to its first provider ever - is WGN America (and the Cubbies) in high-definition! (But Cox will NOT add it until 2010 at the rate they're going.)

Good news: Interactive apps for the Olympics and 800 hours of HD alone on the NBCU channels.

Sunday: Announcing the Dish Sports Series

I am beginning a mini-series feature today that covers the topic of sports on Dish Network and why regional sports networks are missing from the Dish lineup. There's a lot of cases where it's not the satellite carrier's fault, like our first question:

"Where's everybody from Philly?"

Why, most of them have Comcast - and for good reason. Using an FCC loophole, Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia - the flagship - can block its signal from satellite. (There's no land-line infrastructure.) But why no land-line infrastructure?

We can trace it back to July of 1976. A new television network was founded by a company called Spectacor, PRISM (Philadelphia Regional In-Home Sports and Movies). And it carried lots of movies and local programming. But it had the Flyers, 76ers, and Phillies. PRISM was meant to be regional, so it did not go out by land-line.

PRISM was shut down in 1997 - 14 years after being bought out by Rainbow Media - because Comcast bought Spectacor (and the 76ers). They wanted to form a new sports network with what PRISM already carried. SportsChannel Philadelphia became the first Comcast SportsNet, while PRISM folded, with the space being used to carry Starz.

Side note: PRISM founded a New England version, which today is Comcast SportsNet New England.

Week of 3 June 2008

Saturday: WMFD

If you live in the Cleveland DMA, Michael P at DBSTalk has news for you about WMFD, which is flash-cutting to digital in nine days. He wants some people to bombard Dish to carry WMFD - the signal is at Dish, and Dish has to turn it on before January 1.

Friday: Court orders, L510 (622/722), and fiber cuts

SatelliteGuys: A court order has been issued in Texas for 4 September against Dish. (The Texas court is TiVo v. EchoStar, and the Delaware one is the opposite.)

SatelliteGuys: Remember how LIN TV and Dish struck a deal to promote Dish in case of retransmission consent problems? Well, Comcast is having distribution problems with one (1) WOOD-TV, and LIN TV is promoting the Dish deal - and just like in the book, offering $50. And later on, someone mentions Charter and WCTX/WTNH also. And someone also mentions that LIN and DirecTV have HD carriage problems.

DBSTalk: A fiber cut knocked out ALL Seattle locals on Dish and DirecTV.

I don't normally post software releases for Dish boxes - in fact, today is my first. Here are the release notes for L510 for the 622 and 722 (courtesy of Scott):

It integrates external hard disk recordings into My Recordings, displays archive counters in release builds in the Counters screen, adds support for a new data dump remote and a button for stopping Check Switch, adds an enable/disable screen for the 908 popup and a mode reminder screen text update, as well as modified text in popups PU 349 and 311, a new regional uplink outage popup, and fixes for reboots, DishCOMM, and IPTV.

Thursday: NAB and local ads

Broadcasting and Cable: The NAB goes to bat to try to get SD/HD mandates for satellite operators.

I heard a local radio ad today, saying "Test drive Dish and get one year's subscription to TV Guide and an iPod!" I also got another flyer from good old Planet Earth Satellite (we've posted about them in the past). Now they throw in a $100 gas voucher and one year's worth of phone service...if your high speed connection is better than 1.5 mg [sic]. I've never had a connection running at 1.5 milligrams a second! I never knew that the Internet was a viscous liquid! (I think they meant 1.5 MB, not 1.5 mg.)

Wednesday: Uplink Report Highlights and News

Multichannel News: Dish shares tumbled 91 cents after Craig Moffett issued a grim outlook based on legal and competition issues.

A new VODSV channel was added to 541 at 61.5 and 110. Not available.

TMP14 on 5379 was removed and replaced with one at the same locations at 5327.

INFO2 (yummy!) was added on 110 tp 8, channel 5996. Unavailable.

The local WGN (not WGN America) was added to 129 at 6316 on a ConUS beam. I wonder if it will be available to those outside of Chicago.

New PBS XD mirrors were turned on at 7526m60 and 8448m60. The old ones moved to 61.5.

15257-15271: New guide data added for WETK, WVTA, WVER, and WVTB. All four make up Vermont Public Television.

KCWK is off the air and removed from channel 9373. Wikipedia:

"On May 29, 2008, it was observed that the station's offices had been emptied, indicating that KCWK has ceased operations. This was the result of a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing for some Pappas stations, including KCWK. As of May 30, 2008, the channel 9 cable slot remained vacant on Charter Communications' Tri-Cities systems. It is currently unknown if Charter will replace the channel position with another CW channel. Viewers of Dish Network will receive Los Angeles' KTLA as a temporary replacement." SatelliteGuys confirms this.

5995 and 8042 moved together to tp 2 on 110.

Channel package flags changed for internationals: ERT, APUNJ, FUTUR, Star+, KINO, ARYDI, EurCh, KAIRA, NTV.

All of the MPEG2 HD networks in the new 4xxx range were changed to ViP-only, and 6799 became a type=171 channel. 7526 and 8448 at 61.5 are also type-171s.

As expected, the EPG name DHOME changed to GREEN today to reflect the Planet Green name.

Tuesday: Uplink Report Highlights!? AND 77 West News?!

A bunch of new HD aliases in the 4xxx range were turned on and uplinked today.

Official news from MVS about the departure of 52MX from Cablevision Mexico City came today. Note that this translation has been tweaked from the one on DBSTalk due to major inaccuracies:

Response to our kind subscribers (02.06.2008)
Dear subscribers:

Due to the removal of 52MX from Cablevision System of Mexico City this June 1, we feel the need to disclose the following information:

Soon, MVS Communications Group will launch a pay TV system [Dish Network Mexico] like Sky and Cablevision. It is perceived as a direct competitor as well as a serious threat to its growth plans. This is why they have removed our channels from their respective systems in a unanimous decision, despite the acceptance that these channels had.

We very much regret these incidents that harm our image and customer service and of which we are not responsible.

Very soon, you will receive news through various means on new projects by MVS Communications, who will revolutionize the pay TV industry in Mexico.

Thank you for your attention.

Source: MVS Communications

Monday: 77 West News

"*undeterminable name* was the main investor in Mexico when DirecTV Latino operated. DirecTV in Mexico closed and is selling its subscriber database to Sky Mexico. The same MVS people that worked on DirecTV Mexico are the same ones working on Dish Mexico now. Yes, MVS channels were exclusive to DirecTV at the time. A year before they closed, they were added to Sky Mexico and Cablevision. Some months ago, they were taken out from Sky. Today, 52mx (?) - which carries everything WWE - MultiCinema, MultiPremier, and ZAZ were taken from Cablevision."

It sounds like MVS/MSV (whichever is used) is pulling its channels from other providers for no other reason...to make them exclusive on Dish Mexico?

Sunday: 77 West News

It's another fine edition of 77 West News, sponsored by Aransay!

"All MVS MultiVision channels previously on Mexico City Cablevision left today. Months ago, they left Sky Mexico. When DirecTV Latin America existed, they were exclusively on that. Remember, MVS was the owner of DirecTV Mexico. They are part of the Dish Mexico alliance.

Week of 26 May 2008


Broadcasting and Cable: Now it's EchoStar v. TiVo in Delaware. The fight rolls on!

SatelliteGuys: The first amended complaint has been filed in Voom v. EchoStar.

Consumerist: A person had problems with their DirecTV installer not showing up. Thanks to the Consumerist (a site that deals heavily in talking about bad customer service, etc. - I've cited them before) posting DirecTV high-up customer service information, a reader sent an email (to the CEO of DirecTV and to the installer) and was able to get the account transferred from the installer to DirecTV proper. Here's an excerpt from the letter:

"[A CSR] phoned me four times during the course of the install to check on [the installer's] progress. The installer's supervisor also phoned him numerous times to make sure the job was going well. The installer truly did an outstanding job going far beyond minimal expectations. I talked with him while he worked, and he told me that 'everyone' in their company saw my email. He said it was labeled OOP (Office of the President). I said to him, 'I'm really "nobody" other than an informed consumer'. He said, 'Well, you're somebody today'." (If you are switching and end up having trouble, here's the contact information.)


Multiple sources: One EchoStar XI arrived in Long Beach on Tuesday at SeaLaunch home port. It will be launched later this summer, providing relief to not just 110 but other locations, because EchoStar 8 can be moved. (EchoStar 6 is also at 110, but not providing services. It will likely move to 72.7.)

Wednesday: Uplink Report Highlights and 77 West Corrections

Site note: Switched HTML type to 4.01 Strict and weeded out a bunch of stuff per resident HTMLer BobaBird. Most of what is gone is style comments from the Dreamweaver template and HTML coding changes, the latter of which made the page valid! Added a button to celebrate.

In tons of markets, MPEG4 SD channels took a step closer to completion on 61.5 with new package flags installed.

In the 5440 range, the Big Ten Network SD alternates were added. They were removed from the 440 range. Same TP assignments and location.

Channels 5960-5961 are AVAILABLE on 118.7, 148, 61.5, 129, 119, and 110. 5960 is MPEG2 SD and 5961 is a data channel.

720, 722, and 723 are gone from 121.

5998 is gone from 61.5/129.

ALL LOCALS ON 105/121 ARE GONE! A slew of REMOVEDs mark the uplink report for today, and they include minors from Austin on 119 tp 7 and minors from Houston on 110 tp 12s16.

9470 and 9486 were removed, as were 19017, 19025, and 19152.

New preview channels: GSN, WE, Bravo, TCM, Hallmark Channel, G4.

Dreams TV was turned on at 118.7 and 61.5 channel 769 to those who get Egyptian channels.

HD locals are now available in Buffalo, mapped down and on 5181-5184.

Aransay sent me some corrections: the test zone is not Mexico City, but the Polanco Lomas area. And why, he's in that too! They told him to expect related news in the days to come, not that something is happening. An MVS-related contact told him that the tests have started in these areas.


The News Monitor is getting a bit of a facelift! The new look for the News Monitor features a navigation bar and new blogroll (which we've never had before), along with the same news items you're used to seeing. All news items previously on this page are now in the new 2008 archives.

DBSTalk: DirecTV can now begin testing DirecTV 11.

It's time for the regular irregular feature on the News Monitor: 77 West News! And this one looks like a doozy. Here's the direct quote, complete with grammar cleanups from the News Monitor:

"Dish Network Mexico Tests Start ...And they told me [it] is in the Mexico City zone; I'm in that zone. I want to participate. My contact (77 West related) told me something was happening today, as I said before in this forum. The announcement - as expected - came today. Now, I have the info. If anyone from Dish Network can help me get in these tests, please help. [Sentence removed per corrections from Aransay, 28 May]

Week of 19 May 2008

Friday: Uplink Report Highlights and Recap of the Recap, Retailer Chat Edition

But first before our Recap of the Recap for today's Retailer Chat, Scott has big news that is not related to the Recap of the Recap. Here, he talks about what he thinks he will see at the Retailer Chat: "I also DO NOT believe we will see any mention of new HD programming from Dish even though last night Dish Network uplinked 20 TMP HD channels. But this is Dish Network we are talking about so anything is possible." Another SatelliteGuys source notes the following:

New uplink data: 2 tpn (20, 24 - 8PSK) at 61.5W 2 tpn (22,23 - 8PSK) at 129W bunch of MPEG-2 "OPEN2...5" ( AVAIL) [Raymie: switched on French Open multiviews] [574+] and MPEG-4 "TMP a/b/c.." channels ( NA) [9480+]

And JohnH concurs with those reports: "ADD 9428 TMP A MPEG4 HD Tp 24 Rainbow 1 61.5w/Tp 22 EchoStar 5 129w UNAVAIL HIDE ADD 9430 TMP B MPEG4 HD Tp 20 EchoStar 3 61.5w/Tp 23 EchoStar 5 129w UNAVAIL HIDE ADD 9459 TMP C MPEG4 HD Tp 20 EchoStar 3 61.5w/Tp 23 EchoStar 5 129w UNAVAIL HIDE ADD 9471 TMP D MPEG4 HD Tp 24 Rainbow 1 61.5w/Tp 22 EchoStar 5 129w UNAVAIL HIDE ADD 9472 TMP E MPEG4 HD Tp 19 Rainbow 1 61.5w/Tp 19 EchoStar 5 129w UNAVAIL HIDE ADD 9473 TMP F MPEG4 HD Tp 24 Rainbow 1 61.5w/Tp 22 EchoStar 5 129w UNAVAIL HIDE ADD 9474 TMP G MPEG4 HD Tp 20 EchoStar 3 61.5w/Tp 23 EchoStar 5 129w UNAVAIL HIDE ADD 9475 TMP H MPEG4 HD Tp 24 Rainbow 1 61.5w/Tp 22 EchoStar 5 129w UNAVAIL HIDE ADD 9476 TMP I MPEG4 HD Tp 24 Rainbow 1 61.5w/Tp 22 EchoStar 5 129w UNAVAIL HIDE ADD 9477 TMP J MPEG4 HD Tp 20 EchoStar 3 61.5w/Tp 23 EchoStar 5 129w UNAVAIL HIDE ADD 9478 TMP K MPEG4 HD Tp 20 EchoStar 3 61.5w/Tp 23 EchoStar 5 129w UNAVAIL HIDE ADD 9479 TMP L MPEG4 HD Tp 20 EchoStar 3 61.5w/Tp 23 EchoStar 5 129w UNAVAIL HIDE ADD 9480 TMP M MPEG4 HD Tp 24 Rainbow 1 61.5w/Tp 22 EchoStar 5 129w UNAVAIL HIDE ADD 9481 TMP N MPEG4 HD Tp 24 Rainbow 1 61.5w/Tp 22 EchoStar 5 129w UNAVAIL HIDE ADD 9482 TMP O MPEG4 HD Tp 20 EchoStar 3 61.5w/Tp 23 EchoStar 5 129w UNAVAIL HIDE ADD 9483 TMP P MPEG4 HD Tp 21 Rainbow 1 61.5w/Tp 3 EchoStar 5 129w UNAVAIL HIDE ADD 9484 TMP Q MPEG4 HD Tp 21 Rainbow 1 61.5w/Tp 3 EchoStar 5 129w UNAVAIL HIDE ADD 9485 TMP R MPEG4 HD Tp 21 Rainbow 1 61.5w/Tp 3 EchoStar 5 129w UNAVAIL HIDE ADD 9493 TMP S MPEG4 HD Tp 21 Rainbow 1 61.5w/Tp 3 EchoStar 5 129w UNAVAIL HIDE ADD 9495 TMP T MPEG4 HD Tp 21 Rainbow 1 61.5w/Tp 3 EchoStar 5 129w UNAVAIL HIDE"

Today's Recap of the Recap is brought to you by Scott and the folks at SatelliteGuys!

Greeting and recap video from Team Summit...(we brought you some highlights from that)...dealer economics, Dish-U (online training), 22 new HD channels, the HD Only package (now HD Absolute), 25 RSNs in HD...ooh! "A slate is shown where HD locals are coming this summer. They will turn them on as soon as they have them setup and running. A number were planned to launch already but there were technical delays." These markets are Abilene, Albany, Beaumont TX, Buffalo, Chattanooga, Jefferson City MO, Des Moines, Fargo, Grand Rapids, Greenville NC, Joplin, Lansing MI, Lincoln NE, Madison, Memphis, Florence-Myrtle Beach, Omaha, Quincy IL, Sherman-Ada, South Bend, Syracuse, Topeka, Waco, Wichita Falls, and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (remember how that WOLF howled? That was JUST uplinked Wednesday!).

In other tech news, a new Dish Pro Plus 33 (DPP33) switch was announced. It has three orbital locations, three receiver outlet ports, no trunk ports, and no power supply. (Scott has a screengrab from the actual chat showing the DPP33.) And that's about it!

Wednesday: Uplink Report Highlights

The Tennis Channel's French Open multiview channels are not up but unavailable, 473-477.

HOOOWL! WOLF and other Scranton and Wilkes-Barre locals are now up on 61.5. Wait until next week for availability.

Someone in Abilene, Texas is having KIDZ! The station, not the babies, are uplinked and unavailable on 8177 -- in both MPEG2 (148) and MPEG4 (61.5) flavors! It's the MyNetworkTV station for Abilene.

Changes in international channel previews occurred.

Someone's WINKing at Fort Myers! WINK and WFTX are now available, but the other two - a duopoly called WBBH and WZVN - are in RetransmissionConsentLand!

¡Una vez más! KBDF y KHDF son disponibles en canales 7664 y 9040 para las áreas de Brownsville y Las Vegas.

In some 105 markets, locals were moved to tp 2 to advertise a satellite change.

A SatelliteGuys poster reported the following after the uplink report: "There looks to be some new activity on 129 TP 3 and 61.5 TP 21. Five hidden HD streams with black screens and no audio."


Gizmodo: Team Summit brought some new receivers: the OTA-free 722k and 222k, an IR-UHF converter to support new two-way IR remotes with learning capabilities, a new Eastern Arc dish for 61.5/72.5/77, and the 722s, a 722 with Slingbox and Slingcatcher built right in.

Week of 12 May 2008

Thursday: The NDS Case is Over!

Multichannel News: The jury found NDS had violated the piracy laws but gave a minuscule fraction of what EchoStar wanted in statutory damages.


PM: Uplink Report Highlights Presents VOOM Goes VROOM Pt II, Dreams TV, New RSNs, Yuma-El Centro and Helena SD Locals, and More

A new international channel (DREAM, Araboo, a directory of Egyptian TV stations claims this is Egypt's Dream TV, a general entertainment station) now on 61.5 and 118.7 channel 769.

Oh, how we could DREAM for more HD! Those other 5 VOOM channels are gone now too. Oh well.

HD RSNs have been turned on across the country! Fox Sports Net Southwest, North, and South; SportSouth; Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, New England, and Chicago; and SportsTime Ohio.

More SD locals! Your Yuma-El Centro and Helena locals are NOW UP! For future reference in Yuma-El Centro, KECY2 on channel 8420 map 5 is the ABC affiliate for the area, operated by KECY as a digital subchannel - 8426 map 3 is Telemundo. KSWT2 (8424 map 16) is the CW affiliate. KVYE is the Univision station, and KAJB is Telefutura. KYMA is NBC and operates a LATV subchannel on 8428 map 41.

AM: SlingModem

Broadcasting and Cable: EchoStar is coming out with a new product, the SlingModem. It's a DOCSIS 2.0 cable modem with all the functions of the Slingbox and its video encoding system and client. It will be introduced to cable operators at The Cable Show '08 next week.

Tuesday: VOOM Goes VROOM, Mobile TV, EchoStar 6 at 72.7, Higher Profits

Multichannel News:10 of the 15 VOOM channels are off the air. Dish has kicked them out - with plans to get the other 5 off too - due to litigation. This all happened overnight, according to good ol' Scott. (The Multichannel News article even namechecks SatelliteGuys.) Charlie thinks Voom is in breach of their carriage deal. A new HD slate (9472/9486) is up too. Remember to contact the tip line for info!

There was other news today. Reuters says Dish got a much higher profit than last time, with lower expenses after spinning off EchoStar.

Multichannel News: Dish wants to find a partner to potentially launch a mobile TV service with all that spectrum it bought.

FCC through DBSTalk: EchoStar 6 could move to 72.7 as a way to get those other 16 transponders DirecTV doesn't use.

Recap of the Recap: Tech Chat, 12 May 2008

Today's recap is brought to you by the one at DBSTalk!

One of the guys at Dish says that AMC-14 would have taken a year in order to correct the orbit - and it would have burned off most, if not all, of the fuel to boot. Oh well!

Dish now has 95 HD channels - oops, 85 (after the Voom debacle, soon to be 80). Laredo, Yuma-El Centro, and a new Montana market are coming in general in the summer.

How to connect a ViP to an HDTV, rain fade, new tech support, yadda yadda...

In the Q-A, somebody announced a new remote control that will be two-way, will let you store receiver settings, and remote settings into the receiver.

Also from the Q-A, the third quarter will see a 211-hard drive connection. It makes the 211 a DVR and involves a one-time $49.99 fee.

The French Open, U.S. Open in golf, and Wimbledon will have a 6-screen interactive mosaic with the Tennis Channel, ESPN, and Tennis Channel, respectively.

EchoStar Presents DTVPal News! It has a 7-day EPG, parental locks, closed captioning, analog pass-through, and is covered by the coupon cost. Website? DTVPal.com.

The next Recap of the Recap will be on June 9 for the Charlie Chat.

Monday: Here We Go! Growth Falls, New Channels On

Multichannel News: Dish only got 35,000 new subs this quarter. Not good. And when DirecTV got 275,000 in THEIR quarter, something's up. They're citing telco issues and the economy.

PrimeNewswire, DBSTalk: Here comes the new HD. Most all of the new channels are available on Dish - WGN HD is not one of them, so Cubs in HD outside Chicago is still a pipe dream. Also, the upper 300 range is now home to certain HD-only channel mapdowns. Some of the new channels are not mapped down to 300 but are there on their primary location. The HD Only pack will get the 3xx channels as well as new channels in their 53xx locations.

Other Uplink Report Highlights include a new HD sports source channel at 61.5 and a new INFO channel that is unavailable (currently at 5998, 61.5 and 129, MPEG4 SD).

In other news (Broadcasting and Cable): 13 Pappas stations are reading up on Chapter 11 and the FCC has fined Toys R Us and Value City for selling analog TVs. Guess all those little Disney TVs really add up!

Sunday: 16 More HD Channels?

The Channel Chart is reporting 16 new HD TMP channels have been added, and they have associated rumors about which channel will house what. The cast includes the Travel Channel, Weather Channel, CNBC HD+ (which is a more graphical service with the SD image shifted over and information in the extra space), MGM HD, MOJO (on satellite!), Smithsonian Channel, World Fishing Network, Cinemax west, 5-Star Max, Tennis Channel, Biography Channel, Hallmark Movie Channel, Showtime 2 HD, Showtime west, WGN HD (something I would love to see, but our cable provider here is more of a monolith than even Dish), and The Movie Channel/TMC east. All are in the HD Only and regular ranges and at 61.5 and 129.

Semana del cinco de mayo (2008)

Thursday: DTV/Uplink Day

(Broadcasting and Cable) The Wilmington DTV test is on: the FCC is providing details about the test, while good old Charlie has announced that EchoStar is ready to supply its DTV converter boxes (TR-40, now called DTVPal) to Wilmington and to America this summer.

And speaking of DTV, Orlando stations will test the analog switchoff like on KVBC in Las Vegas.

SatelliteGuys: Closing arguments are here in the EchoStar-NDS case.

And Aransay says (in the Uplink Thread at DBSTalk) that we could get 77 West News (again) in two weeks!

From page 2 of the Uplink Thread:

"According to an expert uplink analyst, Cartoon Network HD, Toon Disney HD, Disney HD, ESPNEWS HD, Bravo HD, ABC Family HD are all showing video feeds. We might have these available as soon as tomorrow."

I bet it's highly likely that everything but Cartoon Network and Bravo HD will get turned on at once.

TPs 21 and 32 at 61.5 (and their contents, hidden MPEG-4 mirrors) are gone, leaving that part of the 721 smart card issue for the past.

Wednesday: News and Uplink Report Highlights

Site note: There are a lot of uplink news items today. Uplink Report Highlights is below, after these news stories:

SatelliteGuys: Public interest channels are now automatically in the HD-only pack.

Broadcasting and Cable: Wilmington, North Carolina will go digital early - September 8, 2008, to be exact - as a DTV test market.

Broadcasting and Cable: Rainbow Media is buying the Sundance Channel, so a possible VOOM issue could affect this one too.

SatelliteGuys: Smart card errors on the 721 seem to be linked to MPEG-4 mirrors of regular channels on 61.5. One person reported his 721 looking for CNN on 61.5 and not 119.

SatelliteGuys: Having bad picture quality on ABC: It's not Dish.

Uplink Report Highlights

New HD sports channels, a tweaked international preview channel at 61.5, and others are new today, but the following are big highlights.

Una Vez Mas (literally in Spanish, "one more time) and Dish MUST have struct a deal. KBDF, KUVM, KODF, and KHDF are uplinked and unavailable today for Brownsville, Houston/DeWalt, Dallas/Fort Worth/Britton, Texas, as well as Las Vegas, respectively. Una Vez Mas's Azteca América stations are mostly all low-power, and this is a subset of them.

Disney (east coast) and ABC Family HD feeds are now up but unavailable.

New international previews are up.

Portland, Maine and New Haven, Connecticut are up and running with HD locals.

If you tune to either channel 9400 or 9401, there is a hidden MPEG4 SD mirror - AVAILABLE on 61.5 - too.

Tons of test channels gone, including placeholders at 61.5.

Locals moving off of 121 and 105 had their locals moved to tp 13 or tp 2, respectively.


9463 now has EPG name TOON (Cartoon Network), 9475 is now VMOV (Scott says it's now VOOM HD MOVIES), 9484 is now Toon Disney, 9492 is Bravo, and 9494 ESPNEWS HD. Looks like all those other rumors (and SatelliteGuys Pub leaks) were right!

Odd transponder listings are up for 72.7 West.

And even Aransay jumps in with another edition of 77 West News, mostly containing tons of virtual channel uplink moves at 77 West moved from 61.5. Note that the sat is called Virtual77w.

Tuesday: Follow-Up

Multichannel News: No injunction in Voom!

Monday: Dish Courthouse Network Special

In the Supreme Court of the State of New York - New York County, a new case is here: Voom HD Holdings LLC v. EchoStar Satellite LLC! Filed TODAY! Here's a description:

"This dispute arises out of the efforts by Plaintiff VOOM HD Holdings LLC to preserve an agreement between itself and Defendant EchoStar Satellite LLC. VOOM now moves pursuant to CPLR 6301 seeking to enjoin EchoStar from taking any steps to terminate its November 17, 2005 affiliation agreement with VOOM."

It seems like VOOM's tier move back in February sparked this case. Now we have another case to deal with on Dish Courthouse Network!

On April 26, the six-month anniversary of News Monitor service, I planned to joke about all the court stuff by changing the banner to say "The Law Offices of Ergen and DeFranco". You can infer the rest from there.


Way back in February, I posted a rumor that digital rights management would come to PPV around that time. But a post on SatelliteGuys - and Scott in this case - proclaims that DRM for PPV is coming in less than 48 hours - May 6, in fact. It will work like DRM on PPV with DirecTV (which I posted about), where you can only keep the movie on any hard drive (DVR or external) for a time, and then have a 24-hour window from the first playback to view it. After this 24-hour window, the program will become unviewable. There's also a type of license window in which movies can air on PPV - typically 3 to 6 months on average - and once this is over AND you haven't played it back, you can't view the movie. This is of course from the movie studios. Everybody must play by the same rules - DirecTV, Dish, or your local cable company (Cox, Comcast, Charter, Time Horror, etc.)

Week of 28 April 2008


Multichannel News: There was a pause in the EchoStar-NDS trial today when District Court judge David O. Carter stopped the trial in the midst of testimony by a DirecTV engineer, sent out the jury, and "said he needs to decide whether or not to offer a 'negative inference' to the jury". He noted that the CEO of NDS Group had traveled to Santa Ana, CA for the trial but left after giving a deposition.

Wednesday: News Backlog

Site note: I have decided that having a hit counter is too much. It almost screams "look at me!" The News Monitor is just the news. In fact, it only uses two (soon to be three) pages on the EKB, out of hundreds. I'm here not to be flashy. The Channel Chart is well known for its millions of hits. At last check, I had 28,873 hits in six months. 4800 hits a month doesn't deserve a hit counter, now does it? On the other hand, any minor technical errors should be fixed by now.

DBSTalk: Dish is going fiber, with a new fiber-to-the-MDU (apartment, condo, etc.) service for apartment, condo, etc. operators.

DBSTalk/Aransay: We've got 49 channels at 77 testing, as well as a really long column in Spanish. The beginning: "There is a new competitor for Sky in digital television." It goes on to talk about MVS, EchoStar, and even mentions WiMax and Carlos Slim. Warning: Spanish language knowledge required.

Wednesday: Uplink Report Highlights

Yet more info channels up in those familiar locations for moving markets.

If you live in Laredo, Yuma-El Centro, or Helena, today is your lucky day! Your locals are uplinked, all on 110. They even include a slew of digital subchannels. Hip hip hooray!

Hampton Roads locals and KUNP in Portland are on.

Channel 660/732 is now RFI again.

DBSTalk: The first TV channel entirely dedicated to European content is here! The Eurochannel (available on 752 on your dial) is on the air and featuring its own press release. It will be in the French package and can be added a la carte. Eurochannel claims 7 million subscribers elsewhere, and this is its first move into the States.

Lifetime was mirrored for 148, and Chiller took the 895 spot left vacant when Lifetime Movie Network moved out of it in 2006. (Tony forgot to take it off the Channel Chart when a Lifetime dispute occurred that year, and that's how I got my big break doing Dish news. The News Monitor started on 26 October 2007, so it's six months now.)

Week of 21 April 2008

Thursday: Hackers and DVB-SH

Engadget:Christopher Tarnovsky, who used various surnames including "Big Gun", testified that NDS hired him to create a device - known as "the stinger" - to reprogram Dish access cards, the plan of which was allegedly to hack cards; Tarnovsky admits it was for competitive purposes - NDS was owned by News Corp, which also owned part of DirecTV at the time.

Also from Engadget: Dish is teaming up with Alcatel-Lucent to test DVB-SH in the US. The "SH" suffix stands for "Satellite to Handheld". Alcatel-Lucent would provide the equipment and training. The training will occur in Dish facilities in Atlanta from May to August. Dish already uses DVB, a widespread standard in Europe, Asia, etc., in its mainstream satellite services, while DirecTV uses a proprietary DSS system.

Wednesday: Uplink Report Highlights featuring Chiller

But first: The Consumerist is doing its Worst Company in America contest, and they've done Countrywide v. Dish. Of course, it's a 92 to 8 landslide.

Locals galore (MPEG4 HD and SD) added to 61.5. The new HD markets include Memphis, Hampton Roads, Buffalo, and Portland ME. Also new MPEG4 SD locals are in testing for Memphis, Piedmont NC, Portland ME, Hampton Roads, Hartford CT, Lansing MI, Syracuse, Birmingham-Tuscaloosa, DC, New York City, Philly, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Charlotte NC, Tampa, Research Triangle (Raleigh-Durham) NC, Waco TX, Buffalo, Jackson MS, Green Bay, Richmond and Huntsville AL. HD markets made available today were Jackson MS, Burlington VT, Knoxville, Mobile AL/Pensacola FL, Asheville, Piedmont, Huntsville AL, and Greenville SC.

The Comcast SportsNet Chicago test feed on 5713 is gone and replaced with a new test channel.

New INFO slate channels at tp 2 (105) and tp 13 (121).

Geo News (902) is no longer in free preview.

USA and SCIFI are now on the HD Only/Dish Latino HD package on 5328 and 5329.

CHILLER IS HERE! It's in AT250 on channel 199.

Monday: AMC-14 failure identified

ILS: "The Russian State Commission investigating the AMC-14 failure of a Proton Breeze M launch has traced the cause to the rupture of the gas duct between the gas generator and the propellant pump turbine in the Breeze M main engine."


SatelliteGuys has the full text of the TiVo injunction:

"FINAL JUDGMENT AND PERMANENT INJUNCTION" "Infringing products: DP-501, DP-508, DP-510, DP-522, DP-625, DP-721, DP-921, DP-942, [and the HZ1022]." (Read the second part for clarification. The latter four are the only affected boxes. All others have new DVR software.) "Each Defendant, its officers, agents, servants, employees and attorneys, and those persons in active concert or participation with them who receive actual notice hereof, are hereby restrained and enjoined, pursuant to 35 U.S.C. § 283 and Fed. R. Civ. P. 65(d), from making, using, offering to sell or selling in the Untied States, the Infringing Products, either alone or in combination with any other product and all other products that are only colorably different therefrom in the context of the Infringed Claims, whether individually or in combination with other products or as a part of another product, and from otherwise infringing or inducing others to infringe the Infringed Claims of the ‘389 patent. " "Defendants are hereby FURTHER ORDERED to, within thirty (30) days of the issuance of this order, disable the DVR functionality (ie. disable all storage to and playback from a hard disk drive of television data) in all but 192,708 units of the infringing products that have been placed with an end user or subscriber."


"This is a clarification of the "Notice of Tivo Injunction" that was sent this morning. DVR models 501, 508, 510, 522, 625, 622, Homezone 622, and 722, have all received the redesigned software and can continue to be sold, installed and activated. With respect to those models, no further action is necessary on your part at this time. However, the 721,921, 942 and Homezone 1022 models did not receive the redesigned software. Because the injunction goes into effect today [18 April 2008], any existing inventory of those models that has not yet been installed or activated for a customer cannot be installed or activated in the field. 721, 921, 942 and Homezone 1022 models that are already installed and activated are not subject to the injunction and can continue to be used by customers."

Week of 14 April 2008


Tip line: USA and SciFi HD are now on the air. 9431 and 9432.

MCN: DirecTV is acquiring an installer, 180 Connect. It's a $100 million dollar purchase expected to close next quarter.

MCN: Dish filed with the SEC, saying that AMC-14's failure won't impact its HD rollout.

Thursday: Arr, Matey, Eh?

Multichannel News: Jeremy Corkery, a Canadian satellite pirate, was found to be in contempt of a court order in Ontario made on 16 November 2007. Dish alleges Corkery was well known and the primary officer of Blue Screen Computer Services in Niagara Falls.

Wednesday: Uplink Report Highlights

New locals are up for Lansing, MI; New Haven, CT; and Syracuse, NY. Hidden for now.

CNN HD is now available on 5314 for the HD only package and elsewhere on 9436m200.

Charm City and Packer city locals went live in the 5160-5163 range on 61.5. Of course, the press release will wait and Multichannel News will post the news on a Monday when the locals were uplinked five days ago - they did just that with last week's additions.

One of those HD TEMP channels (9483) is gone.

Univision is coming for Portland - KUNP was uplinked today on 8678. Unavailable.

Week of 7 April 2008


Broadcasting and Cable: The TiVo petition is going to the Supreme Court after the circuit court denied it.

Multichannel News: Dish has dropped its suit on the Barkley and Madden Frank Caliendo ads.

Oh boy, here comes a funeral coffin. What could it be? There's a piece of paper on it! I pick it up and read it to myself: RIP AMC-14 March-April 2008. That's right - Multichannel News,SatNews, and many others are joining with SES Americom in declaring that AMC-14 is a dead bird, killed by patent disputes and unviable options:

"SES and Lockheed Martin have carefully examined all the available options for repositioning this satellite into its intended geostationary orbit," said Edward Horowitz, President and CEO of SES AMERICOM. "Unfortunately, none of those options would allow effective use of the spacecraft. The various repositioning scenarios presented carry unacceptable risks, and would result in a severely shortened life of the satellite. Therefore, we have no choice but to claim a total loss of the satellite with our insurers."


Space Travel: Patent disputes are about to kill the attempt to salvage AMC-14. And it's not even related to AMC-14 otherwise.

Multichannel News: Even as Charlie takes the stand in the Dish v. NDS trial, the judge is thinking a settlement is best.

Wednesday: Uplink Report Highlights

NEW: A new TID with a 9xx number is for the 72.x West range: Telesat Canada is involved. What is going on at 72.5?

Besides free preview changes and other Eastrn Arc changes, some other changes occur in today's Uplink Report Highlights!

An era comes to an end on Dish Network, as the remaining Sky Angel channels take flight and leave 61.5 and satellite TV forever. The only thing in the range now is 3 Angels, which is on 9710 and likely to move to a different slot.

New locals are available in Milwaukee, Tampa, Cleveland, and Richmond: one SatelliteGuys poster can already see the Cleveland variety. Dish CSRs will begin selling these channels tomorrow, but you could probably ask today!

Wednesday: News

DBSTalk: "A trial pitting EchoStar and its signal security provider NagraStar against conditional access giant NDS Group gets underway today in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, a case that has been branded by some as one of the biggest industrial espionage cases to hit the American court system. EchoStar and NagraStar are seeking $1 billion in damages in the litigation, alleging that NDS compromised the conditional access technology utilized by the companies. Not only does the case involve the sensitive issue of satellite piracy, but also claims of sensitive corporate leaks, the employment of pirates themselves and spying."

Consumerist: One DirecTV customer is having trouble getting his Flyers game on Comcast SportsNet. The problem is that Comcast inherited a landline-only infrastructure and can get through an FCC loophole saying CSN Philly does not have to go to DBS operators.


Aransay has 77 news:

"News on 77 West

Don't believe that one telling that TP1 is active on the States is false. Only the 4 transponders I list are active, nothing else. E*6, E*8, and E*4 are not being moved, maybe for redundancy. The new satellite, Quetzsat 1 (Q*1), is still coming. The failed satellite at 77 is for redundancy, but is not Q*1. After July 5, everything would be ready there."


DBSTalk: A member who works for Dish Network is posting internal documents about the addition of new HD locals in Milwaukee, Tampa, Richmond, and Cleveland.

DirecTV through Consumerist: Digital rights management power is on your DVR! DVR PPV recording is now limited to 24 hours after purchase, beginning in 8 days. The carrier says movie studios were involved in making the decision and that it will eventually affect all satellite and cable carriers. Maybe that news headline I posted a couple of months ago - the one about something similar happening with Dish - IS true after all.

Also from Consumerist: a DirecTV install gone wrong in New York.

Week of 30 March 2008

Wednesday: Uplink Report Highlights

East Valley Tribune (Phoenix): Dish will open a 440-person customer care center - its 12th - employing CSRs and support staff in Ahwatukee, an area in Phoenix south of South Mountain. Hiring begins this month, training in May, and opening in June. It is within driving distance of News Monitor headquarters! Dish said Phoenix was chosen for the center because the area's workforce availability matched its needs. It is a leased, 57,000 square foot facility in an existing building. Good news for complex Dish people: this care center will specialize in more complex technical issues. Maybe the CSRs will be better here? Will they be as good as Cox? Only time will tell. The other Dish facility in this area is the Gilbert uplink center, a key one for 110 and even the direct uplink point for Phoenix locals.

Big shuffles at 61.5, involving tps 32, 25, 9, 13, and 14. New channels at tp 32 are in MPEG4 SD, all mapped to 90 for the Dish engineers but hidden for us.

More 61.5 changes involving locals. Some hidden copies of SD and HD locals moving to 61.5, all MPEG4, have been added, including two PBS XD mirrors. Chicago, here we come!

The Providence move to 8PSK is now complete. The XWJAR and XWPRI channels are now gone.

Everything between 9750 and 9781 is gone, opening up some room.

TPs 9 and 13 are gone from the system tables as ConUS and are now just spotbeams.

TPs 25 and 32 at 61.5 are now in 8PSK.

TP 8 at 148 went to QPSK, and tp 13 was deleted from the system tables there.


Today is the last day for Sky Angel on Dish, much to the relief of many who want more HD on 61.5.

Food Network and HGTV HD begin simulcasting the SD feeds today, a welcome relief for Food Network and HGTV fanatics like me.

HDTVMagazine: Dish did begin carrying NESN HD.

Site note: The archive will come soon.

I have never seen a reverse announcement where the programmer says the channel is coming and not the carrier, but that's the case: ESPN is claiming ESPNEWS HD is coming Wednesday for Dish and DirecTV, at least according to a DBSTalk poster and one on SatelliteGuys.

Week of 23 March 2008


Multichannel News: DBS gets no HD must carry but must carry DTV signals, probably including multicast channels.

DBSTalk poster: A poster asked GOD TV (yes, it needs to be all caps) if it was going to get on Dish: they say they are in negotiations.

Wednesday: Uplink Report Highlights

KTV and Angel 2 are now available through Dish on 264 and 266 and 9394 and 9395 in the Family Pack. Five days are left for Sky Angel at 61.5, and these channels are now carried BY DISH. That's the big part.

The Great Migration is complete at 121 West. All of the remaining internationals are gone, but they've only moved a couple degrees and you can repoint a 121 SuperDish to 118.75.

The Final Migration is complete at 105 West. Most of these stations have inconveniently moved to 129. 105 now carries no channels. Hmm...

Unavailable, hidden HD channels for KTXL and KCPQ, Tribune stations, are up today too. Is a retransmission consent deal in the works?

Orlando HD locals are now available! And yes: THIS. IS. EASTERN. ARC! More test locals, including those for Tampa, are up, while some have been removed.

NESN HD could be coming to Dish, as an availability change has occurred on hidden channel 5434. Could it finally be? It's too late for the start of Red Sox season, but it could be coming soon.


Courthouse News (PDF): Dish's lawyers are getting tired, and now they have to play ball with the next big thing: Office of the Commissioner of Baseball v. EchoStar Satellite L.L.C.! The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball is part of Major League Baseball. And here we go with the notice:

NOTICE: Take notice that the nature of this action is for breach of contract and it arises from defendant's failure to pay license fees due under the Agreement between plaintiff and defendant, dated as of March 30, 2006, concerning telecast rights for certain Major League Baseball games during the 2006 season. The relief sought is money damages, plus pre-judgment interest, attorneys' fees and the costs and disbursements of this action. In the case of your failure to appear, judgment may be taken against you by default for damages in an amount to be determined, plus pre-judgment interest, attorneys' fees and the costs and disbursements of this action.

Easter Sunday

Site note: I'm likely going to archive the first three months of 2008 soon, at least by the 31st.

Tip line, "dsscpu":EchoStar is intending on renting 16 transponders from Telesat Canada on Nimiq-5 at the 72.5 location. Transponder maps indicate that the satellite will only be able to serve the northern U.S. Customers in New England, the upper Midwest excluding most of Illinois (the Chicago area can get 72.5), the Pacific Northwest, and the Dakotas and Montana are some of the general areas this configuration will serve. Of course, this may work out like 77 for the South.

See the coverage footprint of Nimiq-5 aimed toward Canada.

Week of 16 March 2008

Good Friday

Multichannel News: Wall Street is speculating the new E block spectrum Dish scored in the FCC 700MHz auction could be used for mobile video and triple play competition services.


Multichannel News: After the 700 MHz wireless auction scored $19.592 billion in bids, the results are revealed. Verizon and AT&T received the largest slices of spectrum, but EchoStar and Cox were the satellite and cable entities, respectively, that got the biggest chunks. This lies squarely at the intersection of "We're a Cox cable market" and "I run the EKB News Monitor, emphasis on the EKB" coordinate planes.


Multichannel News: DirecTV and Dish locked in with the FCC on a new plan to allow them to downconvert HD channels. Bad for the consumer, good in terms of bandwidth. OTA and cable are still the better options for larger bandwidth. Cox here is trying to add channels...finally!


Multichannel News: Dish is now saying its HD plans are on track, even with the recent AMC-14 launcher problem.

DBSTalk: John Madden and Charles Barkley's lawyers are in legal wranglings with Dish over the almost too good impersonations of Frank Caliendo.

DBSTalk: Dish has filed for 16 DBS slots at 72.7 West. This would resolve some 77 problems.

Broadcasting and Cable: Dish has asked a federal appeals court to rehear the TiVo patent dispute.


It wasn't the satellite; it was the launcher! Scott does what he does best at his Multichannel News blog and helps people understand. The satellite is OK, but it will take a bit more time to get the sat there. Thank God two weeks are left for Sky Angel on Dish!


DBSTalk, Space.com, EngadgetHD, SatNews, The Satellite Dish at Multichannel News, Broadcasting and Cable, Multichannel News, BetaNews: AMC-14 failed to reach the planned orbit.

BAIKONUR COSMODROME, Kazakhstan, March 14, 2008 – Khrunichev and International Launch Services regret to announce an anomaly during today's Proton mission with the AMC-14 satellite.
The Proton Breeze M rocket lifted off at 5:18 a.m. today local time from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, carrying the AMC-14 satellite for SES AMERICOM and its customer, EchoStar Corporation. Preliminary flight information indicates that the anomaly occurred during the second burn of the Breeze M upper stage. The satellite failed to reach the planned orbit. The satellite was built by Lockheed Martin.
A Russian State Commission has begun the process of determining the reasons for the anomaly. ILS will release details when data become available. In parallel with the State Commission, ILS will form its own Failure Review Oversight Board. The FROB will review the commission’s final report and corrective action plan, in accord with U.S. and Russian government export control regulations.
ILS remains committed to providing reliable, timely launch services for all its customers. To this end, ILS will work diligently with its partner Khrunichev to return Proton to flight as soon as possible."

SatelliteGuys: The rescue mission is on; lunar burn could be a reality.

Week of 9 March 2008


KRQE-TV HD, a LIN TV station, was flicked on yesterday. I knew it was retransmission consent-related, but Multichannel News is reporting a retransmission consent deal has been inked between Dish and LIN TV. Yes, the deal means Dish can do SD and HD feeds; yes, this impacts 17 markets; and no, the terms were not disclosed. A new marketing and promotional deal has been struck where if LIN stations are removed from cable, LIN will encourage viewers to get Dish. The deal also involves DTV awareness efforts.

"The [LIN] retransmission agreement includes: KASA-TV and KRQE-TV (Albuquerque); KXAN-TV and KNVA-TV (Austin, Tex.); WIVB-TV and WNLO-TV (Buffalo, N.Y.); WWHO-TV (Columbus, Ohio); WDTN-TV (Dayton, Ohio); WANE-TV (Ft. Wayne, Ind.); WOOD-TV and WOTV-TV (Grand Rapids, Mich.); WLUK-TV (Green Bay, Wisx.); WTNH-TV and WCTX-TV (Hartford-New Haven); WISH-TV and WNDY-TV (Indianapolis); WLFI-TV (Lafayette, La.); WALA-TV and WBPG-TV (Mobile, Ala.); WAVY-TV and WVBT-TV (Norfolk, Va.); WPRI-TV and WNAC-TV (Providence,); WWLP-TV (Springfield, Mass,); WTHI-TV (Terre Haute, Ind.) and WUPW-TV (Toledo, Ohio)."

Wednesday: 146 Changes Uplink Edition

Not only did I have a 146-change uplink to send to Tony and BobaBird in the form of a combined uplink alert/change log, I have news items to uplink TODAY!

FCC through DBSTalk: Dish is seeking to move EchoStar 6, currently unused at 110, to the big Mexican 77. This would move EchoStar 4, the local placeholder, somewhere else. E*6 can operate just 26 transponders in regular mode and 13 in high-power mode due to failures. The FCC filing states: "... the redeployment of EchoStar 6 from its location as an in-orbit spare at 110 will also augment EchoStar’s capacity at 77 and result in a greater variety and quality of programming services available to U.S. consumers, including high definition television services. ..." (See the coverage of EchoStar 6 at 77.)

A new source in the books today: The Hollywood Reporter is reporting that TiVo CEO Tom Rogers told analysts yesterday that "clear consequences" could be coming in three months' time for EchoStar for the patent infringement case that puts the entire DVR industry in jeopardy. Speaking at a Florida media conference run by Bear Stearns, Rogers said EchoStar would "ultimately have to own up to this issue". He also claimed that the longer it drags on, the more it, in Rogers's words, "plays into TiVo's hands".

Tuesday: Charlie Chat Recap Edition

I'm going to start something today and recap the recap of the Charlie Chat, as provided by SatelliteGuys!

First off, bypassing the Frank Caliendo fluff and talk of the price freeze of several packages, Dish is adding a fleet of new HD channels! (I think this relates to Charlie's 100-100 goal.)

They also discussed the new HD and Essentials packages, as well as incentives for recommending Dish.

After that, they brought some actor off of Battlestar Galactica to pitch the upcoming (and uplinked) SciFi HD.

They then talked about the digital transition and how anybody hooked up to Dish is not affected. (Or anybody with cable, DirecTV, etc.) In a sign of EchoStar and Dish Network still being conjoined twins, they showed the TR-40 and TR-50. EchoStar products in a Dish Charlie Chat? What's next?

Then came the FAQ. Highlights are:

There's even another another recap from Scott on his Multichannel News blog.

The next Tech Forum is on May 12 (and you can expect a recap from me then too) and the next Charlie Chat on June 9.

Week of 2 March 2008


dsscpu explains Eastern Arc in more detail: "My understanding of Eastern Arc, is [that it is] Dish Network's attempt to do two things with EchoStar 12 (old Rainbow 1) via spotbeams once the new satellite [AMC-14] gets up [next] week to replace E3 and the Sky Angel service expires in a few weeks [March 31]... 1. Get spotbeam HD locals and perhaps even spotbeam RSNs active. 2. With whatever bandwidth is left over, get some of the remaining DMAs that are on the eastern arc and fall within a spotbeam uplinked in SD. Also as part of eastern arc, you have had and will probably continue to have international stations come off of 61 and 148 and consolidate to 118k. Basically, Dish wants to control the eastern arc of the USA and get as much programming up on that side. Eventually Ciel will help those on the west coast and in the middle of the USA, but if Dish only gets 16 TPs, it means that basically they are going to need to get more HDs going on 118k and eventually over at 148w whenever they get around to putting a replacement there." And it's called an Eastern Arc with good reason: the first nine spotbeams on EchoStar 12 (PDF) form an arc across the East Coast!

SatelliteGuys via "dsscpu" at the tip line: Providence is switching fully to MPEG2 8PSK, resulting in a free upgrade to ViP model receivers.

UPDATE: This is Eastern Arc! Here's the whole deal from a different SatelliteGuys post with more detail: "Effective March 5, the following local channels in the Providence, RI DMA will not be viewable on non 8PSK equipment (301, 501, 508, 510, 721, 2800, 3900, 4900, 2000, 1000, 1500, 3000, 3500, 3700, 3800, 4000, 4500, 4700, 5000, and 5500). Customers impacted will see a black screen with a banner. As part of the free 8PSK receiver upgrade project these receiver models need to be upgraded to 8PSK capable receivers in order to continue receiving local programming. Non-local programming will not be impacted by this service change. WPRI 7771 WLWC 7775 WSBE 7776 We have a full-blown Receiver Comparison Chart. If the receiver says 8PSK, you are good to go. If it doesn't, get an upgrade NOW. Anybody that can explain Eastern Arc in detail to me gets a mention in the next uplink. Send it to the tip line with the subject Eastern Arc.



Star1 and Star+, Asian channels operated by a company called Star, were added to Dish today without availability in the Wednesday uplink enchilada. Multichannel News reports that this is part of a fresh new carriage deal (Star's largest in the U.S. ever) that includes more channels coming on the 26th (a Wednesday, of course) and the channels added today: "As part of a multiyear deal, Dish Network's suite of international programming will include Star India Plus and Star India One, two of Star's most popular Indian channels[; this] will become available March 19. Three of the programmer's leading Mandarin-language channels; Star Chinese Channel, Star Chinese Movies 2, and Channel [V] Taiwan (a music channel); will be added March 26" (Expect an uplink next week with the latter three, if the same schedule holds as it did for Star + and Star 1.)

The News Monitor has had a tip line up for weeks. Today, Dave from Springfield, VA ("dklim") emailed me and surprised me with the first email to the tip line! I thank you for it. "dklim" wanted to tell me about whereishd.com, which he said helps with converter boxes and finding HD. He's waiting for the TR-40 digital-to-analog converter box. Thank you for making News Monitor history!

Week of 25 February 2008


Only one article today...but it's a doozy. According to Multichannel News, Liberty Media has completed its DirecTV transition.


Tier moves create a Dish legal double whammy today, as Voom and NFL Network take the field against the satellite carrier. Voom is mad about the move of its channels to a less-penetrated HD tier (see the Multichannel News article) and NFL Network about its recent move to AT200 when Dish had (inaccurately) called it a 14-month-long free preview (see the Multichannel News article).


Site note: The chart from Monday was updated today.

Site note: This is my busiest day ever! I had 8 news items and several updates and site notes. This by far takes the cake as most comprehensive News Monitor update, mostly due to fourth quarter earnings goodness.

Multichannel News: The Department of Justice has cleared the DirecTV-Liberty Media deal.

Multichannel News: Charlie has conceded that satellite delays have hurt Dish competitively and is even stating 100 national HD channels AND 100 HD local-equipped markets by the end of the year.

SatelliteGuys: Summary of the EchoStar earnings call. One highlight: Charlie Ergen saying MPEG2 is going away...could this be a sign of things to come at Dish Network?

SatelliteGuys poster: This person watched the Dave Ramsey show on Fox Business Network. Somebody emailed him and asked why it was not available on Dish; he called a CSR and in turn was notified that they get 30 to 40 calls about this a day due to just Dave Ramsey's program; a deal is closer to happening and they are working hard on it, according to the CSR.

Dish's fourth quarter results came out, including earnings.

Multichannel News: Dish adds 85,000 subs, but it's still a 76% drop from the same quarter last year. The housing market is being blamed. One analyst wrote: "The problem, it would seem, is housing. And not just housing growth, but the lack of housing velocity. With American families unable to finance new mortgages, existing home sales have slowed to a trickle; families are staying put. That means lower churn for the whole industry, and - in turn - fewer gross a"dditions for Dish Network".

SatelliteGuys and TWICE: Dish reported total revenue of $2.89 billion, a 12% increase over last year. Net income and basic earnings per share were also up over last year. Dish has gained 675,000 subscribers between the end of the fourth quarter in 2006 and the end of 2007. The spinoff is complete as well.

FCC through SatelliteGuys: FCC denied both DirecTV and EchoStar at 114.5° and denied both Telesat and SES Americom build permits at 86.5°. This gives EchoStar authority to build at 86.5°.

EchoStar stock is slightly up as of 12:11pm EST today, but Dish stock is down by a small margin. UPDATE: DISH closed down $1.48 and SATS closed up $1.83. (SATS is EchoStar.)


EchoStar's annual report to the FCC includes a launch schedule. In short, four new satellites at three new slots and 121 by the end of 2009, interference studies at 86.5, the scheduled addition of E*11 at 110, and an E*14 at 119. (There's probably no E*13 for superstition purposes, much as there will not be an Office 13.) Here's a summary written by DBSTalk member spear61 and reformatted for News Monitor use:

Satellite launches as reported by E* in their 2007 annual report
86.5°W Interference analysis under review - DBS UPDATE Tuesday: E* now the sole owner of 86.5
97°W to be launched before 8 March 2009 - KA band
109°W to be launched before 30 September 2009 - extended KU band
110°W E*11 awaiting launch (Watch for a launch in April or May after DirecTV 11)
113°W to be launched before 8 October 2009 - KA band
119°W E*14 construction contract issued
121°W to be launched before 30 September 2009 - KA and KU bands (E* owns the KA band but does not use it yet)

UPDATE Tuesday: I've added the other new sats, but not all of them are for Dish Network:

CMBStar to be launched in late 2008 China use
AMC-14 March 15 at launch site, March 14 EDT 61.5° replacement for E*3
AMC-15 105° No more locals at 105°
AMC-16 85°/ViP-TV That MPEG-4 service for small MSOs is on here
Anik F3 118.75° Internationals and HD locals
Ciel 2 129°, to be launched in late 2008 Replaces E*5, but some reports claim half is for Canada

See the full FCC report here.

Week of 18 February 2008


The Mountain (or, as its logo reads, the mtn.) got a carriage deal with DirecTV, as reported by Multichannel News. Looks like those Dish complaints are going to grow in size soon!


AMC-14 will be launched on March 15 local time in Kazakhstan, or March 14 in the eastern U.S., according to a post at SatelliteGuys.


And now Kevin Martin's taken a side in the NAB v. DirecTV squabble. He's supporting the satellite operator. More from Multichannel News.

NFL Network's move back to AT200 after what Dish said was an "extended free preview" (which lasted more than a year!) caused NFL Network to lose 4 million subscribers, as detailed in a Multichannel News article. NFL Network, as always, is getting a bit mad. I'm sure everyone thought the channel was on AT100 to stay! If you carry a channel for more than 3 months as a free preview, just give it to them permanently! The Dish masterminds made a dumb decision here!

The NAB is asking the FCC to make must-carry locals for all 210 markets in the country a clause in the DirecTV-Liberty Media, according to Broadcasting and Cable. Dish might not be able to do this until E*11 and AMC-14 come along in the spring; DirecTV has its own 11 launching March 9, which also means E*11 will launch after that at SeaLaunch.


It's not often that we see DirecTV partner with Dish Network, but it's happened today! A Broadcasting and Cable report indicates that the two rivals are teaming up to lobby the FCC in order to stop the FCC from mandating HD must-carry after the digital transition. (Monday marked the beginning of the final year of analog television.) The main concern is capacity constraints, something Dish and DirecTV are both running into in a world of expanding services and the launch of more and more HD national channels.


NFL Network is moving up in life. The network is jumping up from AT100 to AT200, according to posters at DBSTalk. No reason has been cited yet for the change.

Week of 11 February 2008

There were no articles for this week.

Week of 4 February 2008


The last analog RSN dinosaur, MASN, could offer up to 60 HD Nationals and Orioles games in the 2008 baseball season. TVPredictions's source is Washington Post tech columnist Rob Pegoraro, who in turn got information from a "tipster" working for a local cable operator, which had been notified of the MASN HD offerings. Such providers would have to agree to the coverage by next Friday. Some games could even be shown in HD on WDCA channel 20, which can broadcast in HD.

Broadcasting and Cable is reporting that FCC commissioner Kevin Martin recommends approval of a Liberty Media acquisition of DirecTV, on most of the same conditions that were imposed on News Corporation's acquisition of DirecTV as well as the condition that Liberty must divest its interests in Puerto Rico cable systems.

RUMOR ALERT: The five new test channels in the 9400s already have channels on them, according to a SatelliteGuys rumor brought out of the Pub:
9463 Tennis Channel
9483 MGM
9484 MOJO (i.e. the former INHD)
9492 Smithsonian
9494 WFN (World Fishing Network)


It's Aransay with an update on the big 77...77°W, that is! Aransay has a neurological problem that causes issues with communication in the written form. As such, I do edit and fix spelling errors for any Aransay content on the News Monitor. In the interest of providing the official sources, here is the original post.

http://www.quetzsat.com/quetzsat/index.php The colors of the logotype are changed. The new message that day to new provider of TV Paga? (Your New TV Provider). 77 West stream network ID says Dish Mexico. Sentence lost in translation.? Repeat of Dish Network US numbers (channel numbers as on our Channel Chart) identified with letters and numbers.

Here is a press release in English about the Mexican government granting concession to QuetzSat, but it is dated from just over three years ago. The name of QuetzSat is a reference to the national bird of Mexico, the quetzal.

In other news, I got Chris Blount at DBSTalk to change my screen name there from Tracker (a legacy of its prior affiliation with technical things) to Raymie via PM.

Super Tuesday

Carl Vogel has stepped down from being the president of Dish Network Corporation but still will be vice chairman. Charlie Ergen, already chairman and CEO, will act as president too, according to Broadcasting and Cable.

More HD locals are on the way, according to Scott and SatelliteGuys; HD locals will be rolled out in 27 markets in Q1 and the first half of Q2 2008.

Speaking of SatelliteGuys, one member there is complaining that Dish Network inserted Girls Gone Wild ads that did not cover the bodies up very well. At any rate, this is unacceptable for any video provider, Dish Network or otherwise, especially on a channel which bills itself as family-friendly. This will leave a sour taste in that member's mouth and maybe even the mouths of some other customers now that he's posted about it on SatelliteGuys. At least TV Land recognizes a problem is apparent:

"If you are watching TV Land via Dish Network, we are having some major issues with the "network" spots that they are airing during TV Land programming. If this is or is not the situation, please contact me at mailcall@tvland.com and include as much information as possible about the date/time and airing of the commercial, your cable/service provider and your city/state. I am working with both our advertising and affiliates departments on this issue."

Week of 28 January 2008


BULLETIN! TiVo has won the long-standing, convoluted patent case against EchoStar for copyright infringement; the court has ordered a shutdown of all Dish Network DVRs within 30 days (Dish is claiming new software is in the pipeline). TiVo stock is jumping more than 30% at the news! More from: Broadcasting and Cable, The Satellite Dish at Multichannel News, and TVPredictions (includes part of the press release).


I got this in the mail today from a satellite reseller and installer:

"Planet Earth Satellite is proud to offer to residents of your neighborhood two choices of TV services. We will be in the area for the next week and can provide any of the following services for up to 4 televisions.


Pause, rewind and record live TV with America's least expensive TV service! Receive 100 cable channels plus all 12 local channels (Raymie note: Dish carries 13 local channels for this area) for only $39.99! This price includes DVR service on two TVs! This is not a promotional price! (Raymie note: There are other promotions in here that are going bye-bye in two days!) Upgrade to America's Top 200 for only $10 more. (Raymie note: This is the first sentence without an exclamation point at the end.) For a limited time, receive a High Definition DVR for FREE! (Normally $200.) (Raymie note: ViP622? 722? 211? 612? I don't know!) Experience the World of High Definition (70 channels) FREE for 6 months. Call (insert telephone number here) today and receive HBO AND CINEMAX FREE for 3 months. (I thought that was going away too on Friday!) ACT NOW to receive a $100 rebate on your first bill!


Choose either a DVR or HD receiver for FREE! Programming starts at $39.99 for over 140 channels, including locals. For a limited time receive HBO, Showtime, Starz and Cinemax free for 3 months! Directv [sic] has the most High Definition Channels available (85 channels plus locals!). Please contact your residential advisor at (insert telephone number here) to schedule a personal installation time."

DirecTV has more SD channels than Dish for the same price! (They may be rounding out the 100 channels thing for AT100.) They also have more HD channels, though both counts are elevated by part-time and PPV channels. Plus, Planet Earth is hawking promos that will be gone by Friday! I wouldn't have gone with Dish here; really! (The opinions of Raymie Humbert and the News Monitor are not those of anybody with Dish or DirecTV, or of Planet Earth Satellite.)


Dish's OpenTV-based election portal has entered its second phase, where polling taken in its first phase can be used to help viewers find a candidate with similar values, according to a Multichannel News article. A Dish Network subscriber can access this service, Dish Decision 2008, from Dish Home channel 100 and going to the News section.

Week of 21 January 2008


KREX UPDATE: We may have to wait until Sunday evening to know if the transmitter will work once it is dried out, carbon-cleaned, and powered up. Belkin came out yesterday to clean up the carbon and possibly place it in the new outbuilding. Also, station engineers powered up the CBS and Fox network equipment, which is working. Station engineer Phil Mowbry lamented: "We're in line to get the Super Bowl; everything else is gonna be ugly." (The full story is here on KREX's website.)

A post on SatelliteGuys that cites employee briefings is saying that DVR customers on both DirecTV and Dish will have to erase recorded PPV movies and events by February 1 in order to satisfy movie studio contracts. Any new PPV purchases from that date forward will be viewable for only 24 hours and then erased.

On a lighter note, another SatelliteGuys post claims that a programming error on Dish for a discounted PPV weekend includes the Playboy Channel; two cents an hour! Watch: Dish will be sued soon about it.


KREX UPDATE: Colorado Senator Wayne Allard is in with discussions with parent group Hoak Media about clearing red tape for the rebuilding of the station after fire struck the studios on Monday, according to KREX.tv. The news division is operating out of the Rocky Mountain PBS


In preparation for lighting up the spotbeams on EchoStar 12, there have been some moves, according to the DBSTalk Uplink Thread. (EchoStar 12 is sometimes called Rainbow 1, as that was its former name.)


UPDATE Thursday: This came in from the Uplink Thread this morning. Looks like the locals are now mirroring the Denver channels: "7566 KREX MOVED FROM Tp 26 Spotbeam 34 from Gilbert for EchoStar 10 at 110w MPEG2 SD TO Tp 22 on EchoStar 8 at 110w MPEG2 SD 7568 KFQX MOVED FROM Tp 26 Spotbeam 34 from Gilbert for EchoStar 10 at 110w MPEG2 SD TO Tp 22 on EchoStar 8 at 110w MPEG2 SD"

KREX UPDATE: A comment posted on the KREX site is declaring that Dish is using the Denver affiliates of CBS and Fox to deliver programs to Dish customers. (These are KUTV and KDVR, respectively.)


Dish customers with WildBlue satellite Internet service will see a change, as Dish is partnering with Google and Gmail will become the new way to access those email accounts. Here's the report from SatelliteGuys.


UPDATE 10:45pm MST: KJCT's website is reporting that the national CBS and Fox feeds will be available to cable and Dish Network customers. And KKCO's website says that the building, a converted 1950s Cold War bunker with no fire sprinklers or smoke detectors, will have to be demolished. CORRECTION: The fire also knocked KFQX-TV, the co-operated Fox affiliate in the equation, too. KREX-TV, the CBS and Fox affiliate for Grand Junction, Colorado, will be off the air for a while after a transmitter fire this morning forced four employees to flee. A DBSTalk member's report and the Grand Junction Sentinel both say the games will be available on cable and satellite, though Dish wasn't mentioned and the DBSTalk report includes a conversation with a Dish CSR, saying THEY would not be able to show the game.

Week of 14 January 2008


Disputes arise again! WAPA is running commercials in Puerto Rico concerning Dish and a dispute, saying they will leave Dish! The date mentioned a January 18 departure date, which has passed with WAPA still on Dish's airwaves. DBSTalk's neljtorres has more information on this development.


Don't forget that the EKB now has a page on the ViP612 receiver unveiled last week. (At the behest of BobaBird, I added this short little plug.)

Week of 7 January 2008


NFL Network has scored another carriage agreement; this time, with...Sky Angel!? Yep, Sky Angel will carry NFL Network after it moves to IPTV two months from now. The full story is available at Multichannel News.


New hire at EchoStar Holding: Dean Olmstead, until recently an advisor to Loral Space and Communications, has been hired as president of satellite services for the newly formed satellite, uplink, and transmission asset holding company. Olmstead was also the former president and CEO of SES Americom. Multichannel News has the full story.

The best of CES is out, and part of it included EchoStar and Sling Media's TR-50 DVR/DTV-analog converter! Multichannel News has the breakdown.


Oh boy: There's now a separate Noggin/N feed just for Dish. BackChannel Media shows a separate feed for Dish with these two channels.

LIN TV struck a deal with Dish to offer a $50 prepaid MasterCard to new customers in markets where local channels are not available on cable. The full story is on Multichannel News.


Ovation bought IMF (channel 157) today, and signaled that some of its resources will be used for the channel; IMF will be replaced by Ovation on Wednesday, according to Multichannel News.

EchoStar will hawk Sling Media products to Dish Network's rivals, namely cable operators and telcos, a big step outside the world of Dish. Multichannel News has all the details.

EchoStar and Sling Media have teamed up to brand a DTV-analog converter box that will be sold at $39.99, which would wholly be paid for by the $40 coupons if used. Broadcasting and Cable has the story covered.

Dish announced a new HD DVR, the ViP612, at CES, to be available in February. The ViP612 has dual tuners and can receive MPEG-4 HD content, as well as DTV OTA broadcasts. It is similar to the ViP622, but only powers one TV. It can record up to 30 hours of HD content and 200 hours of SD content. It features the 9-day EEPG, on-screen caller ID, and more. (Reported from DBSTalk repost of a Dish Network press release)

Dish Network is freezing package prices, including DVR rates, until February 2009. Also announced today was Dish Network's HD ambitions for 2008; to increase channel count from 76 to 100. (Quite a few of those channels are part-time or PPV, though.) Dish also said it would launch three new satellites this year and ad 65 HD local markets, bringing the total to 100. The first 11 of those new launches will come soon in Austin, Baltimore, Cleveland, Columbia, Flint, Greenville, S.C., Huntsville, Jackson, Mississippi, Knoxville, Orlando, and Richmond. Dish's local HD penetration in those markets is 80% of all US TV households. The HD Essentials package announced earlier here is still on the books to start February 1. Multichannel News is on the case as well.


Channel 9794 on 105°W, as I deducted a few days ago, is for local channels! One SatelliteGuys user talked about getting a letter from Dish Network, saying his locals were on the aforementioned satellite location.

Telemundo Puerto Rico is off the air, as one submission reports there is an info slate on channel 837.

Week of 31 December 2007


Could SatelliteGuys have the answer to why USA HD has been delayed? We have a clue in why, thanks to one intrepid member there.

"Was over at PWInsider.com and Mike Johnson was reporting on word that DirecTV had put WWE Raw with HD letters in the show header, signifying the show was to air in HD. However, he reports that it is a mistake on DirecTV's part and WWE airing on USA in HD will not happen until after the Royal Rumble, which is the 27th of January. Now here is the part Dish Network HD subs care about. Accrdoing to Mike Johnson, USA HD will not offical 'launch' until the 28th of January and on that date, Raw will air in HD as well." PWInsider says the following:

For those of you all excited about WWE airing Raw in HD, you are going to have to wait a few more weeks it appears. According to a source, the orignal plan was to indeed launch Raw in HD alongside the USA Network. The HD launch has since been pushed back several weeks and will likely begin the day after the Royal Rumble PPV in New York City, which will be the company's first HD PPV broadcast.'


On the EchoStar Holding Corp. side of the world, Sling Media will be unveiling some new devices at CES 2008; the Slingbox PRO-HD, which can stream up to 1080i HD content to PCs over a home network or even to a remote location with fast enough connections. It will also be able to deliver HD content to another HDTV with the upcoming SlingCatcher. Also at CES, the company will demonstrate its BlackBerry Pearl-compatible SlingPlayer Mobile software. The software can be used to watch Slingbox content from the mobile device. A BlackBerry version will be released later this year. Multichannel News has more on the Sling Media bonanza.

Nick GaS has changed its bug on day four of the mazelike mess between Viacom/MTV Networks and Dish to one that is more transparent, according to one DBSTalk member. The network has been automated for several years. Could this bug change mean something? Or is it just in preparation for it becoming a Web-based channel through TurboNick?


On day three of the Noggin-N-GaS-Dish mixup, we now have a new clue, thanks to 31Media from DBSTalk.

"Something interesting from the TV Listings services.

Zap2It shows "THEN" on the Dish Network listings for Channel 116, the current home of....Game Show Network/GSN. (It still shows GSN on 116 at the moment). I could see a scenario where GSN - who has suffered a viewership falloff in the last year - gets dropped to AT250 (the former home of GAS), while The N takes the now-vacant GSN slot in AT 200. Who owns GSN? Half is owned by Sony. The other half? Liberty Media - the company who is taking over DirecTV. Seems possible."

I have confirmed that "THEN" is for The N, as the channel number for The N on cable here (141) has a THEN feed name on Zap2It. GSN's Channel Finder still shows 116.


The other New Year dispute of 2008 is a bit local, but still important nonetheless. KTBS-TV in Shreveport, Louisiana is having some...retransmission consent difficulties. KTBS is hawking its side of the story right here at their website.

No uplink today from Dish, but some big news came down the pipe:

For those keeping score, this is the second day of Dish and MTV Networks not using their Noggins (get it?) and creating horrible confusion for anybody trying to get to The N, Noggin, or channel 177. A Dish Network CSR reported to one DBSTalk member that the split channel would be staying on Dish only. It should remind longtime Dish Network customers of the Romance Classics/IFC/WE split-channel confusion in 2000-2001, but Dish had much less space then.


At the beginning of the past three years, trouble has brewed for Dish Network. In 2006, it was Lifetime (and the dispute was how I got big at the EKB; by finding an oversight); in 2007, CourtTV (which became TruTV today). And 2008...Nick GaS and the N. Yesterday, Noggin and the N split from the shared-channel service. The N's programming moved to Nickelodeon Games and Sports for Kids (Nick GaS), whose programming closed down, and Noggin claimed the shared stream as its own. Dish Network viewers are seeing red still; technical glitches stopped the change at channel 177, including changing the stream. Dish viewers are still seeing Nick GaS, and NOT the N, on channel 177. The N is still sharing space with Noggin on channel 169. As for changes to EPG names, expect that tomorrow. (Big, meaty uplinks ALWAYS happen on Wednesdays!)

To see how people were coping with this technical glitch soup, I went anonymously on The N's forums. People said the following (I corrected the conventions on these for civilized people):

smitha7: "I AM SO MAD. The N told us it was going to stay on 169, but I checked the guide and it was all the Noggin shows, so then I heard it was going to be on channel 177, so I checked there and it's still Nick GaS. So I guess I don't have the N anymore and it [ticks] me off! Is anyone else having this problem??"

JennJenn16: "Yeah, the same thing happened to me. I was told it was still going to be on 169, but all the Noggin shows are on, then it said 167 [probably 177], and none of the shows are DeGrassi."

kekie93: "I'm having the same problem with Dish Network, and if I don't have The N anymore, I'm going to be really mad, because it's all I watch (and I'm addicted to Degrassi)."

FHCKYGrl21: "I'm watching The N right now. The guide is wrong, but The N shows are on."

To encapsulate the first EKB update of 2008; The N programming is still on channel 169, but guide information will be inaccurate. Channel 177 is still Nick GaS until technical issues are fixed at the programmer's end.

Site note: This week will be filed under news for 2008.


Site note: Archives for 26 October to 31 December 2007 are now available! Just click the link at the top of the page.