DISH Drops OLN

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EchoStar said Thursday it is no longer carrying the Outdoor Life on DISH Network, claiming it did not want to pass higher costs on to customers after the cable net added National Hockey League games this season.

"We work hard to provide choice for our customers and to keep prices low," said EchoStar Senior VP of Programming Eric Sahl in a statement. "Most of our customers have made the decision they do not want to pay the additional cost of watching that channel."

DISH says it recently added College Sports TV, the NFL Network and ESPN U at no additional cost, and claims it "offers other channels that provide similar programming to OLN, such as The Outdoor Channel and the Men's Channel."

While OLN's acquisition of the NHL is seen as just a first piece of the ramping up of a wide-ranging sports network, early hockey ratings have been modest.

A recent Monday night game between the Florida Panthers and the New York Rangers earned a 0.1 rating, or about 68,000 homes.

"We are surprised and disappointed that Dish has unilaterally chosen to stop providing OLN to its customers  and denied fans the opportunity to watch sports coverage on OLN," said OLN Director of Public Relations Amy Phillips.  "We are also disappointed that EchoStar cut off the ongoing discussions with OLN that were designed to bring OLN's great programming to Dish customers.  Fortunately, those customers do have the ability to explore other cable and satellite options that carry OLN."

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