Today, lots of people who use EchoStar's (NASDAQ:DISH) Dish Network were probably thrilled and relieved to find that the two-day standoff between the satellite television provider and Viacom (NYSE:VIA) had drawn to a close. It must have been a long couple of days of wondering when those missing channels would flicker back on and how they'd get their yearly March Madness fix.

Since the whole payment dispute boiled to a crisis, leaving some channels black holes for subscribers Tuesday, it's been no secret that both parties were dealing with some pretty irate people. One disgruntled subscriber sued EchoStar. There's been lots of phone calling and letter and email writing to both companies, demanding local CBS network coverage as well as national channels like MTV, Nickelodeon, and Comedy Central.

Dow Jones even reported that competitors like Hughes Electronics' (NYSE:HS) DirecTV service fielded lots of calls from would-be EchoStar defectors. The blackout was seen as a possible subscriber windfall for cable operators like Charter (NASDAQ:CHTR), Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA), and Cox (NYSE:COX), some of whom employed aggressive tactics to convince disgruntled customers to relinquish their dishes.

Given such a difficult week, maybe the last thing EchoStar needed was more controversy, but the term "SEC probe" generally has those undertones. EchoStar isn't reporting earnings today as expected because the regulatory body is looking into its accounting and the company may have to restate financial results from 2001 and possibly several other years.

If there's a silver lining to EchoStar's woes this week, it's that it appears to have been overly conservative and the restatement should add to its past numbers. However, given that its auditor at the time was none other than Arthur Andersen (infamous for the Enron debacle), there's reason to wonder whether other adjustments may come to light, though so far it sounds more like a minor inconvenience than anything else.

All in all, it's been a week of questions about EchoStar. Investors bid its shares higher today, most likely on the fairly quick resolution to the Viacom skirmish. However, though it's a good thing the blackout didn't go longer than it did, what impact, if any, the event will have on subscriber confidence, and numbers, is still a viable concern.

EchoStar's been all over the news this week. Do you think there are going to be long-term effects or is all well now that the dispute with Viacom is settled? Talk it over with other interested Foolish parties on the EchoStar discussion board.

Alyce Lomax does not own shares of any companies mentioned. News mining today revealed a strange and unrelated factoid: DirectTV is suing O.J. Simpson for pirating his satellite TV.