TV stations hated it when EchoStar Communications Corp. required many subscribers to install a second-dish antenna in order to get all of their local broadcasters.
The Defense Department is just thrilled to get its news channel carried at all—even when that means the channel is delivered to a secondary antenna few viewers bother to install.
Echostar announced Tuesday it is now offering the Pentagon Channel, a news network aimed at families of service personnel as well as military junkies.
The Pentagon Channel, which the Defense Dept. made available in the U.S.in May, will be provided by the DBS provider at no additional cost. Echostar noted, however, that installation of a second satellite dish might be required.
Time will tell whether offering the channel wins Echostar more mileage among Washington policymakers than viewers.
Eric Sahl, vice president of programming at Echostar, predicted that families living near or on military bases will appreciate the channel.
Programming includes top-of-the-hour news updates, news magazine shows from each of the services, and news briefings from the Pentagon and around the world.
Regularly scheduled programs include Around the Services, a look at what's going on at each branch of the military; Studio Five, an interview show with Department of Defense leaders; and Focus on the Force, which highlights military missions in Iraq and Afghanistan.