UPDATE, 2:00 PM: The companies finally got their story straight. Turns out Dish won’t stream the Hallmark Movie Channel or any content from it as part of the deal making it part of Blockbuster @ Home. Although Dish promotes the product as an extra cost online and DVD rental service for subscribers, it also serves as a conventional premium tier for some channels that are just offered via satellite. Hallmark Movie Channel will appear on that line-up only.
PREVIOUS, 9:04 AM: The streaming deal with Hallmark Movie Channel was tucked in to multiple releases today pitching Dish’s new Heartland Package, a collection of family-friendly channels that the company’s satellite subscribers can receive for an additional $5 a month. The collection includes Hallmark Channel, Hallmark Movie Channel, GMC TV, PixL, and RFD-TV. Later this week the company will add RURAL TV. Here’s the announcement about the agreement with Hallmark owner Crown Media:
Crown Media Family Networks and DISH Network L.L.C. today announced a multi-year renewal of their affiliation agreement. As part of the new agreement, DISH will feature Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movie Channel in its newly launched Heartland TV package. DISH will also add Hallmark Movie Channel to DISH’s “Blockbuster @Home” subscription movie package.
“We are very pleased to extend our relationship with DISH Network, a company that shares our same sensibilities for family-friendly entertainment,” said Bill Abbott, President and CEO, Crown Media Family Networks. “DISH is an invaluable distribution partner, and we look forward to continuing to work with them to bring wholesome, family-centric programming to our audience.”
DISH’s Heartland package, featuring Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movie Channel, is available for DISH subscribers for $5 per month and is a specialty programming package the entire family will enjoy that includes movies, classic TV series, inspirational concert specials, rural lifestyle content and more.
“Hallmark is an ideal programming provider for our Heartland Package, which gives our customers a choice for viewing family-oriented programming,” said Dave Shull, senior vice president of Programming for DISH. “We’re confident Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movie Channel will appeal to a large number of DISH viewers across America.”
In addition to carriage in the Heartland Package, Hallmark Channel is available to subscribers of DISH’s America’s Top 200 programming package, and Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movie Channel are available to subscribers of America’s Top 250 programming package.