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Dish Deflates HD

To the glee of its subscribers and HD market watchers everywhere, Dish Network LLC (Nasdaq: DISH) just added a slew of new "national" hi-def nets this week, again suppressing fears that the loss of the AMC-14 satellite might somehow hinder the satco's near-term programming expansion plans. (See Dish Pumps Up Hi-Def and SES Calls Satellite 'A Total Loss'.)

Well, it appears that there has been a slight setback after all -- one that has absolutely nothing to do with space junk, but with Dish's lawsuit with Rainbow Media Holdings LLC, which distributes a thematic set of HD channels under the Voom umbrella.

Dish had already dropped 10 of the 15 Voom channels, but, as of last night, the satellite TV service provider had dropped the whole smash, coming through on a threat issued by Dish CEO Charlie Ergen earlier in the day during the company's earnings call.

According to Ergen, Dish fully intends to fill those newly formed HD gaps and still has its sights set on offering 100 hi-def nets by year-end.

Now that Dish has decided to take its toys and go home, we'll keep our ear to the ground in case any cable MSOs -- other than Rainbow corporate cousin Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC), that is -- seize this "opportunity" and launch all or a portion of the Voom lineup.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

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