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EchoStar V Satellite Successfully Launched; EchoStar's Fifth Satellite Enables DISH Network To Offer 500 Channels of Satellite Television To Single Dish

    Business Editors/High-Tech Writers

    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sept. 23, 1999-- EchoStar Communications Corporation (Nasdaq:DISH)(Nasdaq:DISHP) announced today that its EchoStar V satellite was successfully launched from Cape Canaveral, Fla., early this morning.

The satellite was put into geosynchronous transfer orbit after a 2:02 a.m. EDT liftoff by a Lockheed Martin Atlas IIAS launch vehicle, designated AC-155 for the EchoStar V mission. The launch was originally scheduled for Sept. 10 but was delayed by Hurricane Floyd and Tropical Storm Harvey.

"EchoStar is pleased to report a successful launch of our fifth satellite that will serve DISH Network satellite television customers," said Charlie Ergen, CEO and chairman of EchoStar. "The historical launch of EchoStar V will enable DISH Network to become the first in the nation to offer 500 channels on a single small dish, including local network channels, high definition television and interactive TV services."

"EchoStar V is especially important to consumers because it will allow EchoStar to offer local network channels via satellite to more than 60 percent of the U.S. population," Ergen added. "However, this effort hinges on important satellite legislation that Congress should finalize in the next few weeks. Without legislation that bolsters competition and protects the rights of consumers to receive local channels by satellite, consumers will continue to be throttled by the rising costs and poor customer service of cable television."

EchoStar V was built by Space Systems/Loral of Palo Alto, Calif., based on its FS 1300 design. Once in final orbit at 110 degrees West Longitude, EchoStar V will add 150 more audio and video channels to the existing 350 channels of programming available on EchoStar's DISH Network to become the first TV provider in the nation to offer 500 channels using a single small dish that can receive satellite signals from EchoStar satellites located at both the 110 degrees W.L. and the 119 degrees W.L. orbital locations.

EchoStar V joins EchoStar's fleet of four satellites located at 119 degrees W.L., 110 degrees W.L. and 61.5 degrees W.L.

EchoStar is the leader in offering more channels and more choices. In the first quarter of 2000, EchoStar plans to launch its high-power EchoStar VI satellite into the 110 degrees W.L. orbital location, offering consumers more digital video and audio channels, high definition television, high-speed data services and local channels.

EchoStar Communications Corp., includes three interrelated business units:

--   DISH Network™ is EchoStar's state-of-the-art DBS system that
     offers customers over 500 channels of digital video and
     CD-quality audio programming, fully MPEG-2/DVB compliant hardware
     and installation. DISH Network was rated number one in customer
     satisfaction in the pay TV industry by the J.D. Power and
     Associates 1999 Cable/Satellite TV Customer Satisfaction Study.

-- EchoStar Technologies Corporation designs, manufactures and distributes DBS set-top boxes, antennas and other digital equipment for the DISH Network and various international customers that include ExpressVu Canada and Telefonica's Via Digital system in Spain. ETC provides construction, oversight and project integration services for customers internationally. ETC also oversees EchoStar Data Networks Corporation in Atlanta, a leading supplier of MediaStream® technology for distributing Internet content over satellite networks.

-- Satellite Services provides the delivery of video, audio and data services to business television customers and other satellite users. These services include satellite uplink, satellite transponder space usage and other services. Satellite Services also administers SKY VISTA, a direct broadcast satellite service offering popular digital satellite television programming to viewers in Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the U.S. territories in the Caribbean.

DISH Network currently serves 2.8 million customers and is a trademark of EchoStar Communications Corporation. DISH Network is located on the Internet at

     --30--pb/sf*  sdf/sf

CONTACT: EchoStar Communications Corp. Judianne Atencio, 303/723-2010 Marc Lumpkin, 303/723-2020


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