Dish Network Adds 22 Channels, Issues Bragging Press Release, Then Yanks 15

Want to convince people you offer as much HD as DirecTV without, you know, having to actually do it? Add 22 HD channels, issue a press release bragging about it, then yank 15 of your older channels while the press isn’t looking. That’s what Dish Network did according to

The satcaster issued a press release on Monday saying it would add 22 High-Definition channels this week. The announcement appeared to put Dish on par with high-def programming leader DIRECTV, which carries 95 national HD channels.

And if you weren’t clear about that, Dish underscored the point in the release by including this quote from Eric Sahl, the company’s senior vice president of programming:

“We are excited to extend our competitiveness in HD by enhancing our already comprehensive HD lineup with these 22 channels, bringing our total HD lineup to over 95 channels,” Sahl said.

Problem is — at the very moment when the press release was issued — Dish Network was preparing to remove 15 Voom HD channels from its high-def lineup, starting Monday night.

And, by Tuesday night, all 15 Voom HD channels were gone, leaving Dish Network with around 80 national HD channels


Dish Network Expands ‘Chutzpah Capacity’
[TVpredictions](Thanks, Jake!)
(Photo: scarequotes )


Edit Your Comment

  1. Ryan H says:

    “…with around 80…”
    They said they had 95. They cut 15. This is not exactly high school math here. They don’t have around 80 channels, they have exactly 80 channels. No significant digits. No rounding errors. I can understand politicians and press spin wanting to keep their language as ambiguous as possible but can we please stop it from infecting the rest of the language?

  2. rmz says:


  3. dipsy30 says:

    Thats even more comcastic than Comcast!

  4. Someone in marketing needs to learn some basic algebra.

  5. coan_net says:

    @Ryan H: Actually the press released said “Over 95” – so if they cut 15, they would have over 80 – or more simply said, around 80.

  6. tomok97 says:

    I think “around 80” is probably a fair statement since the number of local HD channels varies from market to market. For instance, my CW affiliate wasn’t available in HD (via DirecTV) until just last week.

  7. AstroPig7 says:

    @Ryan H: The original statement was “over 95 channels”.

  8. bzr_wzr says:

    Completely unsurprising. I used to work as a CSR for DISH, and they really encouraged tactics that confused the customer or were even outright lies. But that goes for all the major providers, I’m sure.

  9. MaliBoo Radley says:

    I have Dish (it offered straight through the walls in my apartment, no actual dish). The channels that they cut blew cheese. The Voom Channels weren’t pulling in viewers. I don’t know anyone who watched them. But the ones that they added rock the party. Cartoon Network in HD rules. So, I see it as no real loss.

    But this is just one gals opinion.

  10. BPorche says:

    Looks like they truly underestimate the power of the internet users and bloggers.

    Absoutely pathetic…

  11. Caroofikus says:

    @AstroPig7: Well poopy, I’ve been beat to the punch.

  12. MaliBoo Radley says:

    But, to the point, yeah, it’s shady. Even if it was technically accurate when they said it, it’s still fucked up. The crazy thing is that they would still have a net gain, in that they droped 15, but gained 22.

  13. ARPRINCE says:

    So Voom went Boom! So sad but it’s a good thing I’m not with Dish. I’m with FIOS who have far less than half of their HD channels. :0

  14. Franklin Comes Alive! says:

    Voom sucked. All the channels only seemed to have 3-4 things each that got repeated constantly. I would wager that at least 99% of Dish subscribers either (a) didn’t even know it existed, or (b) if they did know, didn’t care about it or watch. The only complaints being voiced about this are the whiny 1% who actually watched it.

  15. milk says:

    I actually thought about going to them just so I could have the Monsters channel (yeah, that’s lame). I would have been pissed to lose it.

  16. gizmosprocket says:

    > @radleyas wrote:
    “The channels that they cut blew cheese. The Voom Channels weren’t pulling in viewers. I don’t know anyone who watched them. But the ones that they added rock the party. Cartoon Network in HD rules. So, I see it as no real loss.”

    I disagree. While not all voom channels appealed to all people, they all were in HD for most if not all the time. Among the channels cut were channels that showed 2-4 movies per day in repeating cycle, uncut and in HD.

    TBSHD, TNT-HD, DisneyHD, ToonDisHD, and Fishing and tennis HD channels do not show any significant HD content. Even Shanghai Noon (which is shown in HD on other networks) was shown in TNT in upconverted 480 stretch-o-vision. My TV does a better job of upconversion while giving me control over the aspect ratio…

    Fishing and Tennis HD channels are no replacement for 5 movie channels… especially since most of their content is NOT in HD.

  17. nedzeppelin says:

    @gizmosprocket: cartoon network in HD? are the painted colors somehow more realistic in HD?

  18. backbroken says:

    So how many of the added HD channels air more than 2 or 3 hours of real HD programming in a day?

  19. Illusio26 says:

    I just wish they’d put the NFL network back where it was.

  20. Buran says:

    In other words, Dish lied. There’s no way around it.

  21. privatejoker75 says:

    in their defense, those were the Voom channels. Voom was under contract to produce a specific # of hours of new programming, they failed. Dish pulled the plug in order to make room for channels people will actually watch.

    The only Voom channel i watched was Rave and that was for one show… Later with Jools Holland. I’m upset about losing that, but its on another channel in SD. In the meantime i’m looking forward to another 20 new HD channels from Dish pretty soon

  22. How many of these are shopping/Jesus/infomercial channels? Those shouldn’t count. I don’t have HD, so I’m kinda curious if they’re using that whizbang technology to sell ugly jewelry, painted gold-plated 50-state quarters, and dangerous exercise equipment, or if you really get 80 channels or whatever of watchable content.

  23. heavylee-again says:


  24. geekfather says:

    Dish has also been stripping other networks off their line-up and claiming they were “free previews” of those networks.

    So I had a “free preview” of a network that is clearly listed in the documentation I got when I signed up as being part of the package, for over a year? Bullshit.

    Keep it up Dish and I’ll drop you like I did Comcast.

  25. uberbucket says:

    Ala Carte Cable now! If I want 10 specific channels don’t make me pay for 100. I’m tired of my money going to support channels who very existence would be in question if they weren’t being bundled with others.

    Seriously, I watch like maybe 7-10 HD channels, and because these channels are only available at the top tier, you have to pay alimony to all the other channels you want nothing to do with.

    Back on topic.

  26. sunbaked says:

    That really sucks, Dish. What a bunch of con artists. My wife’s an artist and GalleryHD was a big deal for her. There was a lot of repeats on the Voom channels but there was some superior programming there too. Yeah, I like the SciFi channel, SpeedChannel, and all the other usual stuff but a little culture in the mix is nice. TennisHD? Get real, that’s not even a substitute for an HD test pattern. My Dish contract is up in August and I’ll be shopping around.

  27. Propaniac says:

    @tomok97: The wording in the post says “around 80 _national_ channels”, so it would seem to me that market differences wouldn’t apply and there should be just be one, solid number about how many channels they carry nationally.

  28. zentex says:

    @heavylee-again: I was thinking the SAME thing

  29. Empire says:

    @radleyas: They have Cartoon Network in HD? That is the first thing ever to make me sort of maybe start considering that HD might be worth it if I had the extra disposable income.

  30. flipx says:

    With the internet who has time for T.V.? I get more of a laugh out of the comments given than a comedy show.You guys and gals rock in the land of the handgun and cheep cig’s.

  31. GearheadGeek says:

    Cartoons in HD only have a real advantage if you’re comparing them to cartoons on an analog channel with a crappy signal. The cartoons don’t have a level of detail high enough to challenge a good interlaced analog signal, it’s something of a waste of HD spectrum (if they’re really transported in high def.)

  32. StacMaster-S says:

    Ha. I just switched out of their Voom channels plan last week… guess a lot of other people did too. It’s a shame, the concept behind the Voom channels was decent, but they just ran the same stuff OVER AND OVER.

    But yeah, now not only am I free of Voom channels, I also get SciFi, CN and a few other HD channels I’ll actually use. Thanks DISH! (Even if you did decide to release a completely douchey press release)

  33. CPC24 says:

    @Empire: DirecTV also has Cartoon Network HD, and has for months now. However, most cartoons are not in true HD. That’s the fault of the channel, not the satellite company. Disney HD has more cartoons in HD than Cartoon Network HD, and they look great.

    As for Voom, it used to have its own satellite service, but it folded after about a year. Dish bought them out, mainly for their brand new satellite, and picked up a few of their channels in the process.

  34. Franklin Comes Alive! says:


    Actually, the Voom channels are still owned by Rainbow Media (Cablevision), and are independent of Dish, although Dish is their only carrier outside of Cablevision.

    You are correct about the satellite, though. When the Voom service failed, Echostar did buy their satellite.

  35. Carencey says:

    For those of us who have never encountered such things (there must be another one, right?), what are Voom channels, anyway?

  36. brettbee says:

    @CPC24: What’s on Disney HD (on Dish) that’s actually in HD? I couldn’t find anything when I looked the night of the announcement. (Same with ABC Family, Toon Disney, the Cartoon Network. The radar maps on The Weather Channel look great, though. :p

  37. DustoMan says:

    @Franklin Comes Alive!:

    I guess what happened is that Voom didn’t live up to their end of the carriage agreement between them and DISH. VOOM was supposed to spend X amount of dollars towards new programming and they didn’t. So DISH pulled the plug. It sucks, but it’s not DISH’s fault.

  38. doodaddy says:

    Hopefully I’m not alone in liking Dish Network. I had it for 5 years and the signal dropped less often than the Comcast I’m forced to use now. Their DVR was great and cheap, and their better line, with 3 tuners, looks great too. They both have 30 second skip forward!

    I switched to Dish Network because they are they offer the best reasonable bundle. If you have to have a bundle at all (and you do, I guess), they didn’t fill it with crappy stuff. I got what I wanted for $35/month WITH DVR!

  39. MaliBoo Radley says:


    They sure do.

    I am sort of reluctant to say that my fave thing in HD is USA .. I like watching Monday Night Raw in HD.

  40. JasmineNardz says:

    The Voom channels are what made Dish Network unique. Why didn’t they
    just keep the channels and ALSO add these 22 channels? I would have
    gladly paid ANOTHER premium on top of the HD premium in order to
    continue receiving Voom channels. I don’t care about a damn lawsuit.
    What an immature reason to deprive thousands if not millions of
    customers of content they’ve come to love. The reason behind the lawsuit
    is not satisfactory to me for this fascist cancellation of their
    channels. They weren’t making enough money for Dish Network, weren’t
    spending enough on their own content? I was highly satisfied with the
    content. So we’ve lost 15 Voom channels with 100% no commercials, 100%
    1080i broadcast, carrying unique content available nowhere else, with 22
    garbage cable channels with commercials, 50% 480p broadcast, carrying
    content already available with other providers. I’ve cancelled my credit
    card and Dish Network will not be getting another penny from me. Not
    only am I pissed that something I loved was taken away from me, but I am
    looking at a bigger picture here. The fact that these unique channels
    have been replaced with garbage channels (lesser picture quality, lesser
    content quality, excessive commercials) that are already available
    elsewhere is detrimental to our democracy. It goes beyond doing what is
    best for the Exec’s/stockholder’s pocketbooks. In fact, I own the
    airwaves like every other American and I do get a say in the matter. I
    will be writing to the FCC regarding this and I encourage others to do
    so as well. Greater choice of content = greater democracy.

  41. @Carencey: Here, Here! I’m a little lost, myself….! Someone, ANYONE??

  42. outkastblast says:

    I’m actually happing that they did this. That means I now have a legitimate reason to cancel my subscription WITHOUT an early termination fee. You can’t take channels away and still be delivering on your end of the contract. Worked for me with AT&T a few years ago. Eat it, DISH!

  43. TheSpatulaOfLove says:

    Oh goody! I now get MORE HD channels reserved for sports aren’t on, and that I’m forced to pay for (but never watch).

  44. angelcake says:

    See at least they get stations to replace what’s being taken off. Since Voom is owned by Cablevision is it any surprise that it sucked? Cablevision is cutting major channels and isn’t giving us anything in exchange. We just have to hand over 6 bucks a month for E! which has been part of the package for over 10 years.

  45. tech1935 says:

    I think its a shame to loose Voom. I only watch movies and don’t even have a tuner of any sort however it was a reason I would consider Dish.

    Verucalise: not to be a poop head but check out the Wikipedia on VOOM networks. It was once a completely HD sat service just slightly ahead of the curve. They had a horrid time getting subscribers due to the fact that when the service was launched HD was just becoming more standard in peoples homes. The service flopped, and the channels were picked up by Dish.

    Side note: though today it only works as an off air tuner, even to this day, Voom still had the best Sat box menu/guide configuration design I’ve seen.

  46. CPC24 says:

    I don’t know what’s worse: this, or Comcast saying they have twice as many HD “choices” as DirecTV. They still only have about half the HD channels.

  47. SteveBobo says:

    Does Dish carry the Yes(yankees)network? When I was deciding on which Sat service to choose in NYC they didn’t carry Yes(and I’m a Met fan)so I chose Directv….they were/are a joke.

  48. planetdaddy says:

    Just left Dish Network and went with Direct TV. Cheaper billing + channels = bang for my buck! They also have the Chiller channel which is scary shows/movies. Love it.

  49. hwyengr says:

    Not only did I have the Voom service when it was standalone, but I once appeared in their infomercial in return for 6 months of service. A little piece of me just died today.

  50. Jay Gardner says:

    I can’t complain since I get it for free. FTA for the win :)

  51. jdjonsson says:

    I noticed the Voom channels missing right away, as I quite liked them. My Monster Movie channel, and the Gallery channel are gone. I’m kinda pissed off.