LITTLETON, Colo., June 4 -- EchoStar Technologies Corporation (Nasdaq: DISH DISHP) and SCI Systems, Inc., (NYSE: SCI - news) announced today that SCI has manufactured and shipped the 5 millionth direct broadcast satellite (DBS) television receiver to EchoStar. EchoStar's DISH Network currently serves over 2.3 million satellite TV customers and has added over 100,000 customers per month in 1999, illustrating the increasing demand by consumers for an alternative to the rising costs of cable.
``SCI is pleased and proud to have fully supported the very rapid growth and consistently high quality of EchoStar products and services,'' said George J. King, Senior Vice President of SCI. ``The relationship has been a model for clearly illustrating the large advantages to both parties of a well structured outsourcing partnership.''
SCI manufactured EchoStar's first satellite TV receiver three years ago and has since been involved in manufacturing EchoStar's next generation satellite TV receivers. Headquartered in Huntsville, Ala., SCI is a diversified electronics manufacturer whose products and systems are supplied to a variety of aerospace, commercial and industrial customers. SCI has more than 23,500 employees that operate 34 facilities in 16 countries.
``EchoStar is unique not only because we design the most advanced digital satellite TV receivers for our customers, but we also distribute the best satellite television programming,'' said Mike Dugan, president of EchoStar Technologies Corporation. ``But we couldn't do this without a strong relationship with SCI. SCI is a vital manufacturing partner in meeting the heavy volume of hardware for our growing customer base both nationally and internationally.''
Recently, SCI began manufacturing EchoStar's new DISHPlayer in April 1999. DISHPlayer is the world's first satellite TV receiver that integrates DISH Network programming with the Internet TV experience of WebTV Networks Plus. DISHPlayer is on store shelves now and sells for a special introductory price of $199. SCI is located on the Internet at www.sci.com .
EchoStar Communications Corp., includes three interrelated business units:
DISH Network is EchoStar's state-of-the-art DBS system that offers customers over 300 channels of digital video and CD-quality audio programming, fully MPEG-2/DVB compliant hardware and installation.
EchoStar Technologies Corporation (ETC, formerly HTS - Houston Tracker Systems, Inc.), designs, manufactures and distributes DBS set-top boxes, antennas and other digital equipment for DISH Network and various international customers that include ExpressVu Canada and Telefonica's Via Digital system in Spain. ETC also provides uplink-center design, construction oversight and project-integration services for customers internationally.
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 up to 27 channels of popular digital satellite television programming to viewers in Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the U.S. territories in the Caribbean.
DISH Network currently serves over 2.3 million customers. DISH Network is a trademark of EchoStar Communications Corporation. HTS is a trademark of Houston Tracker Systems, Inc. DISH Network is located on the Internet at: www.dishnetwork.com .