Turns out our spies were right last week. EchoStar’s Charlie Ergen used his monthly "Chat" with DISH customers last evening to discuss the possibility of dropping Turner nets from his lineup unless the two sides can settle on a renewal price. Ergen mentioned CNN Headline News, Turner Classic Movies, Boomerang and Cartoon Network last night, says SkyReport, our sister pub. As of 10pm ET last night, those nets were still being shown on the Dish, although Ergen said he might pull them as early as last evening. Ergen described the Turner talks as not as dramatic as those he held with Viacom on carriage a few weeks back. "We hope to do a deal with Turner. I think we can get it done," Ergen said. "But if we don’t it’s because we felt we didn’t get a fair deal." EchoStar signed its first programming agreement with Turner before the launch of DISH, Ergen said. But given that DISH is near the 10mln sub mark, EchoStar should get a carriage deal comparable to the one Turner cuts with large cable operators, Ergen said.

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Early Signs Positive for Emergency Broadband Benefit Uptake

The FCC’s $3.2 billion Emergency Broadband Benefit program kicked off with a bang Wednesday, and some 825 providers sat ready to answer consumer questions and get folks signed up for subsidies. Thus far, all has gone to plan and consumer interest is coming in either consistent with or in excess of providers’ early predictions.

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