The Smithsonian Networks, a joint venture between Showtime and the Smithsonian Institution, is upsetting some filmmakers, historians and researchers who fear they will lose access to the Smithsonian's resources. The first offering from the joint venture, a VOD cable channel, is due in December.
EchoStar Communications' DISH Network has signed a carriage deal with the NFL Network. The NFL Network, which already has carriage arrangements with Comcast, Cox Communications, Charter Communications, Adelphia Communications and DirecTV, now will have nearly 35 million U.S. subscribers.
EchoStar Communications' purchase of Cablevision System's Voom unit shows business savvy by EchoStar chairman Charles Ergen, but that deal alone won't be enough to keep up with satellite-TV industry leader DirecTV. In technology, marketing and programming, EchoStar lags behind, observers say.