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DISH MAY SIDESTEP RETRANSMISSION FEES

November 8, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

Satellite operator DISH has hit on a way to cut back, if not eliminate, the costs of those retransmission consent deals it has to make with local broadcast stations in order to carry their programming: combine its satellite receiving dishes with a standard antenna so that subscribers can receive the over-the-air stations free. The company’s plans were disclosed Monday by the New York Post, which also reported that DISH plans to offer some less-lucrative channels via the Internet instead of via satellite. “We have to be in something other than a standalone video business as a company, and we’re in the transition of being able to do that,” DISH Chairman Charlie Ergen said during a conference call. On Monday DISH reported that it had lost 111,000 subscribers in the last quarter, even as rival DirecTV last week reported a huge growth in both income and subscribers (327,000 new ones in the quarter). However, DISH reported a 30-percent increase in net income for the quarter and awarded shareholders a $2-a-share dividend.