DISH Network customers to lose out-of-area programs | SierraSun.com

DISH Network customers to lose out-of-area programs

Sun staff reports
Emma Garrard/Sierra Sun
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Programming is about to change for local DISH network customers.

Beginning Dec. 1, DISH subscribers throughout North Tahoe and Truckee will no longer get distant networks.

“[Customers] are not losing access to local programming, just to distant networks ” those channels that originate outside the community where you live,” said Kathie Gonzalez, EchoStar’s DISH Network spokesperson.

On Oct. 20, a District Court judge issued an order rejecting the joint settlement agreement between EchoStar’s DISH Network and broadcasters, and entered a permanent injunction requiring EchoStar to shut off distant networks ” the broadcast channels that originate from a market outside the local community. DISH can no longer provide certain distant network affiliates of ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX to customers, regardless of whether they had channels from distant networks in the past.

Customers will continue to get programming from their local channels, Gonzalez said, and other nationally televised programming, such as ESPN, USA or Discovery, without interruption.

Because the designated market area for Tahoe-area residents is Reno, and with the new enforcement prohibiting distant networks, priority is given to local networks in areas where local networks are available, Gonzalez said.

While DISH will not disclose the number of their customers in the North Tahoe and Truckee region, there are 12.7 million DISH customers nationwide, and 900,000 of them take distant networks.

DISH has been fighting the issue for years, Gonzalez said.

“[We’re] just as disappointed in the result of the court action,” she said.

The law was created to protect broadcasters’ exclusivity, she said.

Only a small minority of people are affected by the service changes, including those residents who are outside a market that has launched its network by satellite, said Gonzalez. Because the Tahoe and Truckee community is in a market that has already been launched, residents are affected only because the law is now being enforced.

Can’t watch what you want when you want?

“That’s what DVR (digital video recording) is for,” Gonzalez said.