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DISH Network Adds ESPN2 HD to Channel Line-up.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- EchoStar Communications Corporation (Nasdaq:DISH) and ESPN announced today that the DISH Network satellite TV service will offer ESPN2 HD, a 24-hour high-definition simulcast service of ESPN2, as part of the newly introduced "DishHD" programming package. DISH Network will make ESPN2 HD available beginning Feb. 1, 2006.

"We look forward to ESPN2 HD joining ESPN HD on DISH Network's line-up to enhance viewing for high-definition subscribers and sports fans across the country by providing viewers with the high-quality picture clarity and programming detail that only an HDTV signal can provide," said Ben Pyne, president, Disney and ESPN networks Affiliate Sales and Marketing. "DISH Network has a proven focus on high-definition television with its offer of a robust package of compelling high-definition content."

"ESPN2 HD, with its popular sports coverage, further complements DISH Network's powerful line-up of HD programming," said Eric Sahl, senior vice president of Programming for DISH Network. "DISH Network is the nation's leader of HD programming and offers more HD channels than any other cable or satellite provider."

Together, ESPN HD and ESPN2 HD will combine in 2006 to deliver over 600 major events -- 220 in the first three months of 2006 -- in high definition. Event telecasts will include a variety of match-ups from college football, the men's and women's College World Series, the Little League World Series, Major League Baseball, men's and women's college basketball, the National Basketball Association, Monday Night Football from the National Football League, the Women's Final Four, the National Finals Rodeo, the National Hot Rod Association, the NCAA Frozen Four (hockey championships) and the FIFA World Cup from Germany.

"This is perfect timing for EchoStar to launch ESPN2 HD -- our hearty programming line-up consisting of 150 college basketball games in the first three months is remarkable," said Bryan Burns, vice president, Strategic Planning and Business Development, ESPN. "With over 6,500 hours of HD content slated for 2006 across both HD services, ESPN2 HD has clearly become a 'must have' in our fans' eyes."

ESPN2 HD will be located on DISH Network Ch. 9425 and will be available to customers who subscribe to a programming package starting at $49.99. The DishHD package will include dozens of popular HD channels. Customers can subscribe to DISH Network by going to www.DISHNetwork.com, calling 800-333-DISH (3474) or visiting a local DISH Network retailer.

For ESPN HD and ESPN2 HD schedule:

http://media.espn.com/MediaZone/index.jsp?content=PressKits/ HDlaunch/schedule.htm. (Due to its length, this URL may need to be copied/pasted into your Internet browser's address field. Remove the extra space if one exists.)

About EchoStar

EchoStar Communications Corporation (Nasdaq:DISH) serves more than 12 million satellite TV customers through its DISH Network(TM), the fastest growing U.S. provider of advanced digital television services in the last five years. DISH Network offers hundreds of video and audio channels, Interactive TV, HDTV, sports and international programming, together with professional installation and 24-hour customer service. Visit EchoStar's DISH Network at www.dishnetwork.com or call 800-333-DISH (3474).

ESPN HD and ESPN2 HD

ESPN HD and ESPN2 HD will combine in 2006 to deliver over 600 major events plus over 2,000 programs totaling more than 6,500 hours in high definition featuring live programming, individual programs, movies and series from ESPN Original Entertainment plus news and information programming. Event telecasts will include a variety of match-ups from college football, the men's and women's College World Series, the Little League World Series, Major League Baseball, men's and women's college basketball, the National Basketball Association, Monday Night Football from the National Football League, the Women's Final Four, the National Finals Rodeo, the National Hot Rod Association, the NCAA Frozen Four (hockey championships) and the FIFA World Cup from Germany. ESPN Bristol-based high-definition news and information programs include SportsCenter, NFL Countdown, NFL PrimeTime, NFL Live, Monday Night Countdown and Baseball Tonight.
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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 5, 2006
Words:648
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