EchoStar announces completion of merger with DBSC.
The two companies first announced their agreement to merge on December 22, 1995.
The merger is intended to strengthen EchoStar's position in the direct-to-home satellite industry. Both EchoStar and DBSC, which will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of EchoStar as a result of the merger, each hold one of the nine direct broadcast satellite (DBS) permits issued by the FCC. As previously announced, the Federal Communications Commission approved the merger in August 1996.
DBSC has been constructing a "next generation" DBS satellite while awaiting the completion of the merger. That satellite, a Lockheed Martin AX2100, is equipped with 32 transponders operating at 120 watts of power per channel. The satellite, which will now be known as EchoStar III, can also be switched to operate with up to 16 transponders operating at 240 watts per channel, which would allow for dishes as small as 12-inches. EchoStar III is scheduled to operate at the 61.5 degree West Longitude location where DBSC holds a license for eleven frequencies.
EchoStar III will launch atop an Atlas IIAS from Cape Canaveral, Florida, in the fall of 1997. The satellite will include programming complimentary to that offered by the DISH Network on EchoStar I and EchoStar II. The programming lineup on the satellite could also include Internet delivery applications, and in light of recent pronouncements from the U.S. Copyright Office, it may also be possible to include local programming to select large markets.
EchoStar Communications also would provide the primary path for consumers requesting data over the Internet. Consumers could receive high quality, full motion video and audio such as electronic publications, databases, games and computer software. EchoStar's satellites and receivers can handle data up to 30 megabits per second, delivering files 1,000 times faster than conventional telephone lines and twice as fast as cable modems.
DBSC, headquartered in Washington, D.C., is a pioneer in the DBS industry, and was one of the first companies to receive FCC authorization to provide DBS service.
DISH (Digital Sky Highway) Network, EchoStar Communications Corporation's state-of-the-art DBS system currently offers retailers and consumers over 100 channels of audio and video programming, fully MPEG-2/DVB hardware, installation, financing and leasing. EchoStar Communications Corporation, headquartered in Englewood, Colorado, is also a worldwide manufacturer and distributor of satellite television products and the only U.S. provider of state-of-the-art fully MPEG-2/DVB compliant satellite television systems.
The company is a single, convenient source for equipment distribution, sales, installation and service; consumer financing; and programming distribution; and is widely recognized in the industry for its research and development activities.
EchoStar III, a Lockheed Martin AX2100 satellite, is scheduled to launch from Cape Canaveral, Florida on an Atlas IIAS launch vehicle in the fall of 1997. EchoStar IV will be launched in First Quarter of 1998 on a Proton rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Republic of Kazahkstan, Russia. DISH Network is a trademark of EchoStar Communications Corporation. DISH Network is located on the Internet at: http://www.dishnetwork.com
CONTACT: EchoStar Communications
Judianne Atencio, Public Relations Manager