EchoStar Communications, which operates the DISH satellite service charged today (Monday) that Lifetime Television had broken off talks over a new carriage agreement. Earlier, EchoStar had yanked Lifetime from its system, claiming that women's channel's demands for a fee increase were unreasonable and would result in higher costs for the satellite service's customers. Echostar said at the time that Lifetime was demanding a 76-percent increase, a figure that Lifetime denied. In its statement today, Echostar said that it "continues to challenge Lifetime Television to disclose the actual numbers behind its outrageous rate demand so the public can judge for themselves, but Lifetime has refused." For its part, Lifetime, which is jointly owned by the Walt Disney Co. and the Hearst Corp., said Sunday that its fee request amounted to only "pennies" per subscriber and that EchoStar was actually demanding "Draconian cuts" in the fee.
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