"The EastEnders TV series is temporarily unavailable as a new distribution model is being finalized by Dish and BBC Worldwide. We regret any inconvenience and remain committed to promptly returning this content to our customers."
This statement does not say 'dropped' or cancelled. It says temporarily unavailable. It says they are committed to returning it. It looks positive to me. The alarmist article mentioned above has little relation to the actual statement. The article is entirely negative, and by the way, it is also negative about EastEnders itself, referring to the truly fabulous storyline and episodes around the 30th anniversary as, 'stunt programming'. Somehow, I doubt any fan who watched that story arc would dismiss it that way.
We have no more details other than the statement at this time, but here's why this statement COULD indicate something great: Many people could never get Dish Network, either because of their location or because it meant they had to give up certain channels (like PBS). But Dish has a new streaming TV service, called SlingTV. To get this service you do not need to have the actual satellite Dish (which is what prevents most people from getting it). Anyone with internet can get their streaming service. If they start offering current EastEnders episodes on their subscription streaming service, everyone in the US will be able to watch EastEnders! And if that happens, everybody wins. Imagine THAT!
It could be that this is the BBC's way of cleaning up all the pirate stuff and getting paid for their content - and the BBC should be paid for their content! Since BBCAmerica cancelled EastEnders, most fans, desperate to watch the current episodes, have been left relying on methods that are unreliable and dodgy. There are even people (pirates) hijacking BBC iPlayer and charging people a subscription fee! This could correct all that. The BBC has a great product (EastEnders) that people in the US want to buy, but there has been no way for them to distribute it. This could be the answer for everyone. It could help the BBC recover the revenue it deserves (and needs to keep the show going strong), and give fans across the country a way to easily watch EastEnders! FINALLY! Keep your fingers crossed that this it it!
Here's another reason to be positive: Dish Network has always treated EastEnders fans well. Fans need to remember that. After BBCA cancelled the show in 2003, Dish Network was the only place that listened to fans and offered us a way to watch (though unfortunately, most of us don't have access to it). Streaming would fix that.
I think that for now at least, Dish should be given the benefit of the doubt that they are trying to do the right thing. Stay tuned to see how this plays out, and by all means, stay positive because there is every reason to be! . . .
That's my opinion based on what I've seen.
***This article was originally published in The E20 Chronicles, the FREE EastEnders e-newsletter. If you'd like a free subscription, just email me at: E20Launderette @ gmail.com