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Dish Makes Deal to Restore Customers’ Access to 14 Channels

Agreement with Hoak Media affects subscribers in six states; Auto Hop, fees had been in dispute

Dish Media has made a new deal with Hoak Media that will restore Dish subscribers' access to 14 channels in six states.

Dish Network customers had lost access due to Dish's dispute with the Dallas-based media company over pricing and Dish's commercial-skipping Auto Hop function.

Despite Hoak's issues with Auto Hop, its customers will still be able to use it under the terms of the new deal. Other terms of the multi-year agreement were not disclosed.

The resolution comes as Dish is embroiled in lawsuits with ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC over Auto Hop, which allows customers to watch previously aired primetime shows commercial free. The 14 channels include affiliates of all four networks.

“We’re grateful to Hoak for its willingness to work toward an agreement that benefits our customers,” said Dave Shull, senior vice president of programming for Dish. “We are most pleased for the Dish customers in Hoak’s broadcasting areas who will continue to receive the best channel choices at the lowest everyday prices in the industry."

Dish had previously said that Hoak blocked Dish customers’ access to the 14 Hoak channels because Dish refused to accept a 200 percent rate increase. Hoak also wanted to bar eliminate customer access to Auto Hop, Dish said.

ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC have sued Dish over Auto Hop on copyright grounds, and called it a threat to ad-supported network programming. Dish has sued the networks, saying Auto Hop is basically a more advanced form of fast-forwarding through ads.

The 14 Hoak channels are KREX and KFQX in Grand Junction, Colo.; KFYR in Minot and KVLY and KXJB in Fargo, N.D.; WMBB in Panama City, Fla.; KNOP and KIIT in North Platte and KHAS in Lincoln, Neb.; KSFY in Sioux Falls, S.D.; and KNOE and KAQY in Monroe and KALB and NALB in Alexandria, La.

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