Drive about 30 minutes north of Fort Worth and you'll see a city limit sign welcoming you to the little town of Dish, Texas. About 437 folks call Dish home--but it wasn't always that way.

This is a story of a town that changed its name for free TV. Don't change the channel--you're in for quite the ride.

Is There REALLY a Dish, Texas?

Yessirree. The community, located in Denton County, was established in 2000. Dish officially changed its name on November 16, 2005.

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Was the Town Always Known as Dish, Texas?

That's a negative, partner. When the community was officially incorporated in 2000, it was named Clark as a nod to its founder and first mayor, Landis Clark.

Why Did Clark, Texas Change Its Name?

Clark (the town, not the mayor) needed a way to attract new residents and businesses to town--and what better way to entice someone than with a DECADE of free satellite TV? The town agreed to change its name to Dish in November of 2005 as a promotional stunt for the operator of Dish Network, Echostar Communications Group.

How Did Local Elections Play a Role in the Change?

Believe it or not-- Clark, Texas may have been a single vote away from keeping its original name. Mayor Landis Clark lost the spring 2005 election by just one vote; Bill Merrit was elected as his successor. Merrit would be the one to strike the deal with Echostar Communications Group that resulted in the town's name change.

Local politics would come into play once again when the measure renaming the town was brought before the city council--according to Roadside America, only 12 people showed up to that meeting.

What Did Residents of Dish Get After the City Changed Its Name?

Residents of Dish were hooked up with Dish, each getting ten years of free basic channels from the Dish Network. Folks who wanted access to premium channels like HBO or Showtime had to pay for the additional features. The New York Times noted many residents, including former Mayor Landis Clark, received bills in excess of $80 a month.

Do Folks in Dish, Texas Still Get Free TV?

The deal only lasted for a decade, which means the free service expired in 2015. While the freebie may have ended, the town remains named Dish. Who knows what's next for the municipality-- Netflix, Texas sure has a ring to it.

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