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EchoStar announces Arianespace launch plans.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 7, 1996--EchoStar Communications Corp. (NASDAQ:DISH) announced today that a subsidiary has signed a letter of intent with Arianespace for alternative launch arrangements for EchoStar-II, its second high-power direct broadcast satellite (DBS).

Arianespace will launch the satellite atop an Ariane 4 launch vehicle from its Guiana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana in September 1996, in a vacant launch opportunity. EchoStar-II will significantly expand the satellite television programming services available to DISH(tm) Network customers.

"We are pleased to have secured this launch with Arianespace, because it ensures our capability to launch EchoStar-II as planned in the third quarter of 1996 and to provide additional services to our DISH Network customers in the near future," said EchoStar Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Charles Ergen.

EchoStar's first DBS satellite, EchoStar-I, was successfully launched from Xichang, China, on Dec. 28, 1995, and is now fully operational and began broadcasting nationally to subscribers over 100 channels of video and audio programming on March 3, 1996.

EchoStar Communications Corp., headquartered in Englewood, is a worldwide manufacturer and distributor of satellite television systems. The company has developed a state-of-the-art DBS system, the DISH (Digital Sky Highway) Network, which debuted on March 3, 1996. A total of over 200 channels of digital video, audio and data services are expected to be delivered to homes throughout the continental United States with the launch of EchoStar-II later this year.

EchoStar Communications Corp. and its subsidiaries deliver direct-to-home (DTH) satellite television products and services to customers worldwide. The Company is a single, convenient source for equipment distribution, sales, installation, and service; consumer financing; and programming distribution. EchoStar's international operations include sales and service locations in Holland, Spain, Singapore, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia and India.

Arianespace is the world's first commercial space transport company, established in 1980 by 36 leading European aerospace and electronics corporations, 13 major banks, and the French space agency, CNES. The company is headquartered in Evry, southeast of Paris, and completes approximately 11 launches per year.

CONTACT: EchoStar Satellite Corp., Englewood, Colo.

Charles Ergen, 303/799-8222, ext. 4703

David Moskowitz, 303/799-8222, ext. 5323

Cynthia King, 303/799-8222, ext. 5329
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Mar 7, 1996
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