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EchoStar Makes Bid For Mets’ Fans

Englewood, Colo. — EchoStar is taking advantage of a carriage spat between Fox Sports New York/Madison Square Garden Network and New York City’s Time Warner Cable to offer a reduced adoption rate for DISH Network service — including New York Mets games — to local residents.

EchoStar’s DISH Network is offering to eligible customers in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and the Wilkes Barre, Penn., area who want to watch the Mets a subscription to DISH Network for $19.99 a month plus an extra $5 for Fox Sports Net New York and/or Madison Square Garden Network, which carry many Mets games. The offer was said to save $144 off the regular price over the course of a year.

The package, called DISH Network’s Digital Home Advantage, offers the service’s America’s Top 60 programming package with local channels plus free installation and no upfront hardware charge. The offer will be available through June 30, and requires a one-year commitment.

EchoStar said it is targeting area residents who “reject the high cost of cable and resent the extra fee for the YES Network,” which is owned and controlled by the rival New York ball club — the Yankees.

Additionally, the offer comes at a time when Time Warner Cable, one of the area’s largest cable providers, has stopped carrying Fox Sports New York and Madison Square Garden Channel following failed negotiations on contract renewals.

The package gives DISH Network customers access to more than 90 Mets games. Additionally, subscribers will receive up to 33 Yankees games at no additional cost during the 2005 regular season on ESPN, FOX and WWOR-TV. EchoStar, which would not agree to carriage terms with the YES Network, does not carry that service.