Reporter's notebook for the Charlie Chat, June 9, 2008 Opening voiceover: The Magic Number is 100, 100 national channels and 100 local markets in HD Full 1:20 of intros Charlie Ergen joined by Eric Sahl (VP, programming). They say that Jim DeFranco's father is ill. This year's Olympics will have more HD than ever before. (of course) (Keep these numbers handy for next time) 1-888-621-2078 to ask questions or firstname.lastname@example.org Trivia contest prizes: Custom fishing setup, valued at $1500, question: Name three hosts of the World Fishing Network HD Contest number 1-888-662-3474 Montage of 22 HD channels launched in last six weeks, taking total number to over 80 About Voom, Charlie said, "We helped start Voom in the early days, and we own 20% of the network, but they had some obligations that they had to do to improve the network, and they didn't live up to those obligations. And we're not in the management of Voom, so because of that we took the channels off the air. We offered quite a bit in terms of negotiations, in terms of other channels or other things we could do with Voom, maybe consolidate some of the channels down and get to a more workable number, a little less of the repeats and so forth, but that wasn't acceptable to Voom. "And so, to make a long story short, they're no longer on the air. We're not having any discussions with them; in fact, we're in litigation with them - a judge has ruled that they're not likely to prevail in anything so far, and that's where we stand today. "Obviously, as an owner of the company, we'd like to see it be successful and we'd like to see it be programming that our customers want, our customers like, and our customers see value in. But we can't be in a situation where our customers are having to pay for things that aren't what we bargained for or what we think is competitive in the marketplace. And that's the situation. "So that's where we are today. At this point, I'm not optimistic that Voom will be back on the air or in any form, but we're always open to talk, other than to lawyers. Sometimes because of the lawyers, sometimes professional business people have discussions, but so far, that's the route that they've chosen." Eric quickly adds, "The good news is, Charlie, we continue to add HD channels every day." Announcing WGN America in HD this week. Eric pitches HD upgrade choices. Charlie elaborates. Eric talked with Jim Lampley about the Olympics in a taped segment. Eric showed some hard-to-pronounce names of athletes and asked Jim to read them correctly. NBC channels will carry over 1600 hours of coverage, over 800 hours in HD. Plus extra dedicated Olympics channels on Dish NBC Olympic Showcase. New HD markets include: Buffalo NY, Burlington VT, Ft Myers FL, Greensboro NC, Greenville SC, Hartford CT, Huntsville AL, Jackson MS, Knoxville TN, Mobile AL, Norfolk VA, Providence RI, Portland ME. Now 59 markets, 67% of US TV households. Additional individual HD channels added on Seattle (KCPQ), Sacramento (KXTL), Chicago (WGN9), New York (WPIX), and Hartford (WTIC). Upcoming HD locals launches - June 19th, Grand Rapids MI and Memphis TN More in "Summer/Fall" by end of the year, 100 HD markets, 90% of US TV households Clip of Buffalo TV stations happy about being in HD on Dish. One warns that HD shows lines on newsfolks' faces. Charlie: "We don't do this chat in HD yet. We don't even use makeup here. (pause) I know DeFranco does use a little makeup." Upgrade offers for (HD) MPEG2 receivers available. "By the end of the summer, MPEG2's going to be turned off." Upgrade to a DVR. Card still shows the slogan, "Better than Tivo!" (No other TiVo mention on this Chat.) A special look at the World Fishing Network in HD. WFN host Charlie Moore in studio. Emails: * Any plans to add Discovery Planet Green? (It's already there, just a name change.) * Do you carry USA HD and SciFi HD? (Why yes, we do.) * How can I get internet service? (Go to www.dishnetwork.com and look in products for internet/phone options.) Charlie adds that ViP receivers have an internet connection (was that the question?) and you can use it today to download TV shows and movies. About 100,000 customers are "playing around with it" now, and it's "gets better and better". Callers: * How does Dish negotiate SD vs. HD versions of channels? (Always difficult, it's always about money, always about the package. Over time, you build relationships, they become partners. "It's easy to do a deal when we pay people what they ask for. It's difficult to do a deal when we pay a fair rate.") * KTLA and KCAL in HD? (Will be able to go past big four network channels in Los Angeles market hopefully by the end of the year. New satellite by the end of the year will provide more capacity.) * DTVPal converter box available when? ($59.99, June 19; $39.99 box should be available later. $9.99/month locals-only Dish package currently available.) ClubDish promo card. Dish Home Advantage promo card. * Peachtree TV Atlanta not on Dish? (Close to deal with Turner "very soon") Emails: * When add Hartford locals? (HD on May 8.) * When add Versus? (Been there a long time, name change, y'know) Charlie describes what red/green channels mean in the guide, how to use lists. Premiere of latest Matthew Broderick comedy will be on Dish. Previews of other PPV movies, boxing match, soccer. Preview of US Open golf matrix, to be on Channel 100. Ditto for Wimbledon tennis. International KBS World is now free to AT100 or higher with no special equipment. June 18-July 2, free preview of Dream 2 Channel 769. Launched Star India Plus, Star India One, Euro channel. Eric talks with CNN's Wolf Blitzen in taped interview. Trivia winners announced Next Tech Forum Aug 11 Next Charlie Chat Sept. 8 That's all the time we have.