In an exclusive interview with DBSTalk reporters Monday, Charlie Ergen spoke on a range of topics, including the convergence of the internet and the hidden advantages of losing the ability to sell distant networks to a third party using an Echostar satellite transponder. "Now on Dish Network platform, anybody in the United States can buy distant signals, east and west (feeds), where we couldn't because we're doing local-in-local," Ergen said. "The customers got the best of both worlds, to get local-in-local from us in 96% of the homes in the United States (and) distant signals in the United States in 100% of the United States, where you qualify. "(NPS is) on our platform just as Dominion is on our platform, so if you want religious programs, we've got a platform that's nice for religion, nice for international, and now it's nice for distant networks. And I think the broadcasters made a big mistake." According to Ergen, NPS made the proposal to Dish to take over the sale of distant networks early last summer, but he "blew him off" so he could offer the $100 million settlement option to the broadcast stations. "We were going to be able to sell local signals in 4% of the DMAs in the United States. And you get $100 million. That's Door Number One. I'm a broadcaster, and I can get $100 million, and you can sell in 4% of the United States. Or Door Number Two is, I don't get $100 million, and an entrepreneur who's a good entrepreneur can sell in all 210 DMAs in the United States, and I don't get $100 million. Now you tell me which door you would pick. I can lead a horse to water, but that's as much as I can do." In the press conference, Ergen said he didn't expect to use live internet-based broadcasting, but in the private interview, he said he thought the internet made a good complement to broadcast TV. "I think it will be YouTube, and I think it will be the press conference after the football game. That it'll be Saddam Hussein actually getting hung as opposed to NBC just having the guy walking out there, because your curiosity is your curiosity. "And I watch The Daily Show, because they show me stuff that they won't show me, you know, you want George Bush fumbling around at the press conference instead of the canned stuff that you see on TV, or you want something in-depth. ... Remember in the old days on C-band, you'd go through and say oh, there's Mack Robinson drinking his tomato juice before he goes on TV. So yeah, that's how you're going to do the internet, and everything else is canned." And to no surprise, Ergen remains bullish on satellite TV broadcasting. "Broadcast TV isn't going to go away for a long time. Any time 10,000 people are watching a show, it's going to be cheaper to do it from satellite than any other way you can. ... So from a broadcast TV perspective, I have always said most homes, if they were omniscient, would own a satellite dish. It might be our competitor's, but they'd own a satellite dish."