UPDATE 2-Dish Network, Weather Channel end contract dispute

* Dish Network to continiue to carry Weather Channel

* Weather Channel to provide localized programming

* Dish shares up 0.4 percent at $21.11

(Added analyst comment, context, share price)

By Jennifer Saba

NEW YORK, May 24 (BestGrowthStock) – Dish Network Corp (DISH.O: )
will continue to carry the Weather Channel, ending
disagreements over carriage fees and programming that
threatened to bump the network from the satellite TV carrier’s
roster of channels.

Weather Channel sought higher monthly carrier fees, while
Dish Network threatened to drop the Weather Channel because it
would not provide local weather broadcasts.

Under a new agreement, Dish Network will carry two networks
of the Weather Channel, including a customized local weather
channel that the satellite service wanted.

Additional terms of the agreement, including Weather
Channel carrier fees, were not disclosed.

The impasse between the Dish Network and Weather Channel is
the latest disagreement to occur between a content provider and
a distributor.

“It’s telling what is going on in the industry right now,”
said Hudson Square Research analyst Todd Rethemeier about the
flurry of disputes.

In several instances earlier this year contract
negotiations between cable companies and content providers
broke down. Carrier Cablevision Systems (CVC.N: ) tangled with
programmers Scripps Networks Interactive (SNI.N: ) and Walt
Disney Co’s (DIS.N: ) ABC over payment for each subscriber. Time
Warner Cable (TWC.N: ) and News Corp disagreement over subscriber fees.

Rethemeier cites the rising cost of producing content and
the inability of distributors to pass along price increase to
consumers. “They are finding it is not that easy anymore,” he
said.

Last week, Dish Network said it planned to drop the Weather
Channel after the two parties could not reach an agreement on a
new contract.

Dish Network said it wanted more localized weather content
as the Weather Channel sought higher fees per customer. While
the Dish Network never pulled the Weather Channel, it did
introduce a 24-hour weather channel, The Weather Cast.

The Weather Channel’s new localized service for Dish will
replace Weather Cast.

The partnership also includes personalized weather reports
from the Weather Channel through the Android mobile platform to
be launched this summer.

The Weather Channel gets about one-sixth of its U.S.
viewers through the Dish Network. On average the Weather
Channel is paid 11 cents a month per subscriber, according to
SNL Kagan data.

The Weather Channel is jointly owned by NBC Universal and
private equity firms Blackstone Group (BX.N: ) LP and Bain
Capital.

Shares of Dish Network are trading up 0.38 percent at
$21.11.

Stock Market Research

(Reporting by Jennifer Saba; Editing by Derek Caney and Steve
Orlofsky)

UPDATE 2-Dish Network, Weather Channel end contract dispute