Wow! Talk about resurrecting a thread from the great beyond! This thread is 2 years and 7 months DEAD!
But to answer the question, Dish and ABC were having a spat about the then new ABC Family, ESPN Classic and retransmission fees in general over ESPN, Disney, ABC O&O stations. Dish dropped ESPN Classic (many people never noticed) on New Year's Day 2002. It returned on the date this thread was born 4/18/02 as part of the new ABC/Dish Deal.
Dish Network has announced the intention to discontinue this channel come 1/1/02. This is a dispute with the owner of the channel and comes down to Charlie sayng to the owners, "I'm not going to pay too much for this muffler!" Negotiations are ongoing. UPDATE 12/31/01 Disney has won a TEMPORARY restraining order restricting Echostar from Dropping ABC Family as they planned until the courts have had a chance to review the case. UPDATE 1/1/02 3:40am EST Dish Network has removed ESPN Classic. So far the ABC Family is still up. Update 1/9/02 9:30am EST The court date to decide the fate of ABC Family has been pushed back to 1/17/02 The TRO keeping ABC family on Dish has been extended as well. Update 1/16/02 Dish has asked for a continuance in the court case. The channel will remain on the line-up until at least 3/11/02. Update 3/12/02 Another delay in the trial date means that the TRO keeping ABC Family on Dish has been extended to 3/18/02. Update 3/18/02 Yet another two week continuance has been granted via mutual consent. New trial date set for (get this) April 1st. Update 4/1/02 SURPRISE! Another continuance in this everpresent story! New trial date set for 4/8/02. Negociations must be hot and heavy! FINAL UPDATE 4/5/02 Dish Netork and Disney have kissed and made up. ESPN Classic will return to the line-up some time in April as part of AT100 and higher. ABC Family will remain on the line-up as it is now. See the AP News Story
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