[01/01/06 - 12:00 AM]
Dish Unilaterally Denies Nearly 12 Million Customers the #1 and #2 Women's Networks - Lifetime Television and Lifetime Movie Network

[via press release from Lifetime]

DISH Unilaterally Denies Nearly 12 Million Customers the #1 and #2 Women's Networks - Lifetime Television and Lifetime Movie Network

- Despite Lifetime's Offer of a Contract Extension Through the New Year Holiday, Satellite Giant Pulls the Plug on Women -

National Council of Women's Organizations Executive Director Terry O'Neill said: 'We regret that DISH network is choosing to deny the leader in women's television and thereby deprive millions of subscribers from the critical information and support Lifetime offers.'

NEW YORK, Jan. 1 -- Happy New Year, unless you're one of 12 million DISH subscribers who, at the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve, were deprived by their satellite company of Lifetime Television and Lifetime Movie Network -- the two most popular and highest-valued networks for women. DISH network unilaterally refused to negotiate a reasonable carriage agreement, even dismissing Lifetime's generous offer of a temporary contract extension to allow women to watch their favorite network through the holidays. Instead, DISH did what they have done in past negotiations, pulling channels rather than best serve the interests of women.

According to Nielsen Media Research, Lifetime is the #1 network among women in DBS homes, while Lifetime Movie Network is fifth.* Additionally, in the 2005 Beta Satellite Dish Subscriber Study on the measurement of favorite networks and the crucial perception of a network's value -- among ALL female satellite subscribers (including DISH) -- both Lifetime Television and Lifetime Movie Network ranked #1, among fully distributed networks and emerging/mid-sized networks, respectively.

Powered by the eight most watched original movies on ad-supported basic cable in 2005, led by "Human Trafficking," which earned two Golden Globe nominations, Lifetime Television is far and away the top-rated women's network, with sibling Lifetime Movie Network second.

"We are outraged and dismayed for our viewers that DISH has unilaterally chosen to pull Lifetime and Lifetime Movie Network and deny millions of women their favorite channels," said Betty Cohen, President and CEO, Lifetime Entertainment Services. "We value our viewers' loyalty and don't understand why DISH would take away the most popular women's networks, especially over a holiday weekend. We regret the disruption of service our viewers are experiencing, but appreciate all of the support they are already showing and we hope DISH network will listen to them and give them back their Lifetime."

Louise Henry Bryson, President, Distribution and Affiliate Business Development, Lifetime Entertainment Services, added: "The truth is we have done hundreds of agreements with distributors over the years that have never resulted in this kind of irrational behavior. DISH refused both our seven months of efforts to reach a fair agreement and even our offer to extend their contract and keep negotiating through the holidays. No matter what, they just seem intent on denying women the networks that they love most."

* Nielsen Media Research 12/27/04-9/25/05, W18+ total day delivery

Lifetime is committed to entertaining women with a mix of quality programming and comprehensive advocacy campaigns on a wide range of issues ranging from breast cancer to domestic violence. Consequently, DISH network is denying women entertainment they love, such as the upcoming Lifetime Original Movie "For the Love of a Child" -- the true story of two women whose work on behalf of children recently earned them Nobel Peace Prize nominations. DISH network is also depriving women of the information and resources they rely on. For example, nearly 12 million DISH subscribers will not have access to the Network's Emmy Award-winning campaign to Stop Violence Against Women, an issue that affects one in three women worldwide and an initiative that Lifetime viewers have reported has helped save lives.

Many of Lifetime's hundreds of non-profit organization partners expressed regret that Lifetime is now unavailable to women and families who subscribe to DISH, including:

National Domestic Violence Hotline Executive Director Sheryl Cates stated: "Unfortunately, there will be thousands more women who will go without the help they need if they can not watch Lifetime's programming and find out more about critical resources like the Hotline."

Young Survival Coalition Executive Director Michelle Przypyszny added: "It would be a serious detriment to women across the country to no longer have access to the life-saving breast cancer messages Lifetime delivers for young women."

LIFETIME is the leader in women's television and one of the top-rated basic cable television networks. A diverse, multi-media company, LIFETIME is committed to offering the highest quality entertainment and information programming, and advocating a wide range of issues affecting women and their families. Launched in 1984, LIFETIME Television serves over 89 million households nationwide. In 1998, LIFETIME launched Lifetime Movie Network, now in nearly 50 million homes, and in 2001, Lifetime Real Women. LIFETIME Television, Lifetime Movie Network, Lifetime Real Women, Lifetime Home Entertainment and Lifetime Online are part of LIFETIME Entertainment Services, a 50/50 joint venture of The Hearst Corporation and The Walt Disney Company.

SOURCE Lifetime Television
Web Site: http://www.lifetimetv.com

  [january 2006]  


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