Dec. 1 deadline to halt network feeds over Dish

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.-- A federal judge rejected an attempt by Echostar Communications Corp., owner of the Dish Network, to delay the date it must stop providing distant feeds of network programming to thousands of satellite TV customers.

U.S. District Judge William Dimitrouleas said the feeds must cease Dec. 1 as ordered, finding in an order Monday that there was not sufficient reason to change it.

"The time to prepare for such an outcome was months ago ... not weeks before the injunction would take effect," Dimitrouleas said in his ruling.

Englewood, Colo.-based Echostar is being prohibited from offering ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox network feeds to about 850,000 Dish customers who live far away from the origination point of the programming.

Echostar was found to have violated federal copyright law by offering the programming to customers who can get local network fees with an antenna.

Echostar, which has about 12.5 million customers, is still attempting to delay the Dec. 1 date through an appeal to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta.
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