EchoStar announced Monday it will pay $100 million to settle a 9-year-old legal battle over the right to deliver distant network signals to subscribers in rural areas. The satellite operator said it
reached an agreement with ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox affiliate associations that will allow it to continue to transmit those network signals. EchoStar will also terminate transmission of the channels later
this year to customers who aren't eligible to receive them. As part of the agreement, EchoStar will expand its local network channel service to 175 markets from 165 by the end of 2006. While EchoStar
has reached similar settlements with ABC, NBC and CBS O&Os,--it still hasn't brokered an accord with Fox Stations Group and its 25 O&Os.