Oppenheimer issued a research note yesterday based on CableFAX’s 4/7 report that EchoStar’s [DISH] Charlie Ergen is prepared to drop several Turner nets, including CNN and Cartoon. Oppenheimer’s take: "We interpret the battles Mr Ergen is waging with programmers as his latest attempt to disrupt current trends which we think position EchoStar weaker strategically than DirecTV." The firm estimates that a shut-off would hurt DISH’s 2Q results. The positive case for such a move is that it could help persuade DC lawmakers to allow DBS to offer distant network digital signals if they’re not available via over-the-air, the note says. But Oppenheimer adds that it doesn’t think DISH’s programming battles are viewed favorably by DC officials working on regulation, such as the reauthorization of SHVIA.

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