Lifetime Disses Satellite Dismissal

DALLAS Lifetime Television has launched a multimedia advertising campaign in five cities asking Dish Network customers to switch to rival DirecTV or local cable operators after the satellite broadcaster quit carrying Lifetime in a dispute over licensing fees.

Lifetime is running radio, television and print ads in Houston, Albuquerque, N.M., Orlando, Fla., Raleigh-Durham, N.C., and Greenville, S.C., the company said. On Thursday women supporting the channel held rallies in Houston, Greenville and Denver, home of Dish Network and its parent company EchoStar.

Ads created in a partnership with cable operators, including Comcast, Time Warner and Charter, use “Take back your Lifetime” and “Switch from Dish” as taglines, the company said.

Radio ads playing on local stations tell Dish subscribers that they are missing popular Lifetime programming, such as the world premieres of January Lifetime Original Movies For the Love of a Child and A Little Thing Called Murder, as well as the series finale of Strong Medicine.

Television ads tell Dish subscribers, “Coming soon to Lifetime—world premieres of our exciting original movies, season finales of our compelling original series and everything else you’ve come to expect from the number one network for women. But if you’re one of 12 million Dish subscribers, you won’t see it.”

All the ads conclude by informing Dish subscribers of offers available from DirecTV and local cable providers for subscribers switching from Dish.

EchoStar claims that Lifetime demanded a 76 percent increase that would force subscriber rate hikes.

“We continue to fight for our customers,” said EchoStar representative Mark Cicero.

Lifetime, however, claims it was asking for only a modest increase of 4 cents per customer and that negotiations continue.

Dish pulled the network off the air Dec. 31, leaving the channel unavailable to about 12 million subscribers, the company said.