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Charlie chat begins right on time at 9pm

Here's Charlie and Jim!

Charlie begins to talk about the DirecTV proposed Merger. Charlie says he's been talking to the FCC and the Justice Dept. And then he goes into his pitch about local cities. He says that in order to do all 210 local markets, broadband effectively, more HDTV and he PROmises a national pricing plan so that even where there is no competition people will benefit from national competition. He says that he expects the merger to be approved in the fall, hopefully by October.

Jim says that customers and retailers have given them a lot of support. Roll the Video Tape schilling the merger!

Jim comes back on to talk about hppt://echostarmerger.com

Charlie continues to push contact with government officials positive or negative.

Okay...Jim talks about new local cities.
May 22 Grand Rapids locals were added (wzzm, wotv, wwmt, wood, wxmi, wgvu and wtlj) just 5.99 a month! What a deal!

A few other cities that are coming:
West Palm Beach is tentatively set for June 19. They have not reached an agreement with CBS and if they do not get CBS they will still launch WPB with a $1 discount. So it will be $4.99 a month if they cannot reach an agreement with CBS local for retrans consent. They will keep trying to get the channel. Charlie says "We've done a lot of retransmission consent contracts across the country. We know what a fair price is. If we get something fair we'll put 'em up. If we don't we won't put 'em up."

We had a lot of folks from Alaska and Hawaii asking "what ya doin' for me?"
Tentative date is June 26 (graphic card says June 19 but Jim said June 26.
KITV, KGMB, KHNL, KFVE, KHET and KBFD (all the networks except WB and Fox and one independent) Jim says again there we are missing one of the networks. Assuming we can't get Fox, it will be $4.99 there too.

Chary jumps in and says they are working hard on getting Alaska up too. They haven't reached agreements with enough channels in order to be able to launch it. Charlie goes on to talk about E*7 and how great it is for AK and Hawaii.

Jim says "Well we do have some good news for the folks in Alaska anyway."
On August 1 Alaska will be able to get AT50 or AT100. AT100 will be only $1 more than AT70. On the premiums Alaska will be able to get all HBO, Cinemax, Showtime and Starz FROM 119 ONLY...110 is still not available off icially. The multi package discount is now available there too.

Jim and Charlie begin to banter about E*8 being scheduled to launch from a "Stan" country (Khazakstan) at about 11pm MDT 6/21. More back-up and hopefully it will allow us to do more cities.

Jim says "whatever you do for luck, do it for us on the 21st."

Fox Network retransmission consent contract is coming up for renewal on 6/30. It is POSSIBLE the cities with owned and operated Fox Network stations could be lost on June 30th. We have a great relationship with fox (HAHAHAAHAHHAHA---Rupert is laughing his ass of!) so I don't want to alarm anyone for it is a possibility. The cities that MIGHT be affected are Atlanta, Austin, Birmingham, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, NYC, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, St. Louis, Tampa Bay and Washington D.C.
If the stations are pulled there will be a $1 a month discount on the package for the duration.
Again this is only a POSSIBILITY. We hope we can reach an agreement.

This does not affect any other Fox channels.

More programming. TVN24 polish launched on 61.5 and 148 on channel 609. 24 hour Polish news channel. It's on free preview through June 30. It will sell for $9.99 a month a la carte or $19.99 for the package with Polsat and Radio Maria Poland.

Some channel moves are coming up. If you have a Dish 500 this does not affect you. To check if you have a Dish 500 tune to channel 9900.
The channels moving from 119 to 110 orbital location effective June 19:
HSN 222 (Already moved---temporarily at 219 at 119°)
Golf Channel 401 (Already moved--temporarily at 402 at 119°)
PPV Movie Channel 507
PPV Movie Channel 517
PPV Sports Channel 457
3 Minute PPV Guide 500 (103/139/450)
Shop At Home 224

Charlie asks what if I'm a Golf Channel fanatic and I don't have a Dish 500?

Jim says we have several offers for upgrade:
Half Price upgrade offer. $75 when you sign up for CC Auto Pay If you do not want CC AP then there is a $24.95 delivery charge. The offer includes free installation.
No additional commitments.

If you sign up for AT150 for one year and CC Autopay then there is no charge. Free install and delivery. ($24.95 delivery if you don't want CC Autopay). And Charlie points out. The Golf Channel is already part of AT150 so you wouldn't have to pay the $4.99 a la carte fee.

Speaking of AT150...Jim can't figure it out...Charlie gives Jim a hard time "SoapNet Spotlight!" Roll the video tape!"

Soapnet Spotlight Sweepstakes! If you sign up for AT150 between May 25 and June 22 or you're already an AT150 sub, you're automatically entered!
Charlie says "What do you win?" as the tape rolls he says "Soap I guess"
The video tape explains the prize a 3day 2 night Disney Land Resort in Calif.

Charlie explains the Soap channel. And its in AT150.

Jim announce the nights giveaway from Soapnet. It's a Soapnet robe if you answer the question : What Daytime drama (i.e. soap for the rest of us) is Lisa Rena (sp) know for and what is the name of her character? Jim seemed to have a hard time reading the question! Jim thanks Charlie for backing him up as Charlie jumps in to save Jim's day.

Jim begins to talk about the Dish Mover program. Roll the tape! Same deal as the upgrade above.
Now they Schill Club Dish. Roll the tape! See http://www.dishnetwork.com for details.

QUESTION TIME!
Email from Peter! Are Dishnets east and west going away?
No. There are 6 cities available nationwide but you have to live in a white area where there are no signals from the local stations. Charlie explains the locals garbage. He didn't blame anyone or cry about the government and bad laws! Amazing. :)

Nancy emails: What equipment will I need if the merger goes through?
We don't know yet. But if your equipment does need to be replaced we will replace it for free to KEEP THE SAME LEVEL OF SERVICE YOU HAVE TODAY. A cheap ass receiver will be replaced with a cheap ass receiver! An HDTV receiver will be replaced with an HDTV receiver. When we find out, we'll let you know. The first upgrades will be in local cities where we don't do locals today.

Jim says that Judy of Conroe Texas knew that the answer was Days of Our Lives and the Character was Billie Reed. She gets the robe.
They show a video of the robe being modeled the camera starts at bottom of the robe slowly tilting up the back of the model. You begin to see long flowing black hair at the middle of the back. The model swooshes the hair around the front as the camera finishes the tilt at the neck showing the robe. Then to a shot of the model wearing the robe. You only see the model tying the belt the camera tilts up following the model's hand perfectly manicured up to the chest showing the black (dark blue?) Soap Net Logo on the white terry cloth robe. The shot disolves to the back neck area of the model wearing the robe. In the mean time Charlie and Jim are beginning to talk about a caller on the line. On the video the model turns around and the shot zooms out to reveal a big guy with long black hair, mustache and beard! As the camera zooms out, the guy blows a kiss to the camera. Jim and Charlie LOSE IT! They obviously didn't know this was going to happen! After they regain composure, Charlie jokingly says "We ARE and equal opportunity employer here at Dish Network. Obviously our marketing people don't have enough to do. We have too many of them."

Okay.. Stan on the phone....Stan was lost in the raucous.

E-mail about new programming. What new channels are coming. Telefutura or other services?
Telefutura is available on some local packages. It may be on one of the side satellite and we well provide the equipment for free if you need that. We've tried to reach an agreement for a national feed but we have not been able to do that yet. The other things you can look forward to is HDTV. We're taking with Discovery. and there are other channels coming this fall we are talking to. Just about every basic channel out there we already carry. One of the decision points are customer input.

Stan are you there? Stan is from Philly. Are the Philly additional locals moving to an E* satellite?
Charlie explains that it is a one dish solution even though it is not a Dish Satellite at 129. Charlie says that they will not move until after the merger.

Jason e-mailed about the side satellite stations. Charlie explains the free dish available for those that need it. A mailer has been sent out or go to www.dishnetwork.com click on locals.

Ron calls in and asks: Why does DirecTV have local channels in some areas and Dish cant?
Capacity. That's why we need the merger. They do some markets we don't we do some markets they don't. Charlie goes off on a rant about rural America and how the merger is the best thing ever conceived.

Another e-mail: What can I do to change the distant network rules?
We've fought a long fight about that. Charlie begins to rant about locals and network signals. Same thing that has been hashed out here 2,334,345,334 time. Charlie says they took the argument to the Supreme Court and lost. A 3 year fight. The FCC just enforces the law. Talk to congress. But with the merger we'll be able to carry all 210 markets!

Three questions about HDTV. Will there be an HDTV PVR? Discovery HD? Other HD?
PVR next year.
Discovery launches end of June. We're talking to them. It's a premium service. No announcement or pricing yet. We're interested in that channel. We won't start it when they start it and possibly in the fall.
General HD -- HD Net will be on Dish with the merger. But that's about it (that's available) right now.

The next Tech Chat will discuss a lot about HD in the future

Larry calls in to ask if his bill will go up or down with the merger.
Charlie says "we hope it won't go up". Charlie talks about the economies of scale and says that the price would not change as much as it would without the merger. The cable companies raise their rates every year and nothing would make me happier than to say that to say ours won't.

Disney is looking for the most animated kid. It's a tour by Toon Disney. They show the cities. See www.toondisney.com for details. The winner gets to be in a cartoon.

Time for a give away from Toon Disney. Stuffed Donald Pooh Mickey and a bag.
What year was Steamboat Willie released?

More programming news:
Showtime is having a free preview 6/21-23
HBO sweepstakes. Celebrate in your city Sweepstakes. See http://www.dishnetwork.com for details.
Jim talks about the HBO/Showtime team-up on the Tyson Lewis fight. Charlie says "Oh yeah! I paid my $54.95 for that one!" Charlie says the fight was over after 3 and then looks at Michael Schwimmer and says "You were there!" He got to go free as a guest of HBO/Showtime What row were you in 4th 5th? Schwimmer says 9th or tenth.
Jim says if you didn't get to see the fight HBO will be rebroadcasting it on Saturday 15th at 9:45 pm EST. Good fight....
Charlie jumps back in to rant about having paid $54.95. And then admits that he's bitter...mostly because he lost a bet! LOL!

And more boxing on Dish On Demand: Marco Antonio Barrera and Eric Morales $39.95 June 22

Charlie says well that'll be a good fight. First of all they're smaller fighters and second it's only $39.95!.

Jim goes back to the questions:
Betty asks when I look at TV Guide the time is off by 3 hours. Where can I see the listings other than the EPG.
(insert Shameless plug for the Dish Entertainment Magazine) $3.95/ mo $39.99 a year. Shows all 4 time zones. Then Dish Flix for $1.99/mo or $19.99 a year.

Chris on the line...Wondering about the 721 announced long, long ago. It seems you always miss the delivery dates on these things. Where is it? Will it be available directly from Dish or just retailers?
Charlie says the engineering staff is moving out of the back of the studio and goes on to explain the unit. Charlie says it's being tested.
Jan Johnson, production and Marketing Manager, jumps in to say: The good news is the software is going to be on the satellite this week. And then we'll be able to release that product and you'll be able to see it coming to retailers and distributors next week. You can always get the product from Dish Network. But I recommend that you go to a local retailer.

Pruit asks if he can use his ISP on the 721. (the 721 has web access built in) Again Jan steps up and says that the unit does have a 56k modem but it will initially be disabled. Any Internet access features will be provided with future updates. The receiver is a 2 tuner PVR product. Charlie says you should buy it for the video capability. Charlie laughs and asks "When engineers say 'future updates' is that like a year, a month? we don't know?" Jan says "We don't know". Charlie says that the Internet option on the Dishplayer was not that popular anyway.

We have a winner on the Tune Disney giveaway. Rita from N.C. 1928 was the year Steamboat Willie was released.

Last question from "-- -- - - -- -- - - -- -- - Sheldon" (see Kentucky Fried Movie to get the reference): My congressman is against the merger. What can you do about that?
Write your congressman.
I already did. He's against it.
Go see him over the 4th of July break. or vote for his opponent this election.

That's it! Next chat Monday July 8th 9pm channel 101.

A roll with more writing than the library of congress in one character per pixel rolls across the screen so fast that even if it were legible only Evelyn Wood could get half of it.

That's all folks!

See ya
Tony
 

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DBSTalk E* Spot Beam Guru
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Thanks Tony! I missed the chat and your summary always helps when I miss one.

A couple things come to mind in this chat.

With the locals problems HI, WPB, & AK carrying all 210 markets after the merger is just a farse. If a one channel DMA says no then that DMA isn't carried or if in a DMA like mine where there is only CBS, NBC, PBS and say CBS says no I highly doubt NBC & PBS will be carried as a locals package and Charlie would say not enough stations have reached retransmission consent. I think the problem for some markets isn't retransmission consent, but that too many stations in the DMA will say they will opt for must carry.

Channels moving to 110. No mention that the 500 upgrade is free, rather they still try to get you to go to AT-150 with a commitment. I'm sure some of these shopping channels would like to know they are loosing several million subs (that they are probably paying for) because the free upgrade isn't publicized. If you have a 300 I would say hurry and call the 800# on HSN & SAH as the free upgrade will probably go away on the 19th.
 

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two things:
1.)Most retailers are against the merger(which chaps charlie's astericks), so that's a charlie snow job

2.) would have been better if it had been brian olsen in the Soapnet robe!!!!

kudos to ALL the congressspeople, state attorney generals and other people in the decision making process who have the backbone to stand up to charlie on the merger!!!!:goodjob:
 

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As usual, great summary Tony!
 
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