Superstar/Netlink to Convert its C-Band Customers to DISH Network
LITTLETON, Colo., Nov. 2, 1999 EchoStar Communications Corp., (NASDAQ: DISH, DISHP), the nation's fastest growing digital satellite television service, announced today an exclusive direct broadcast satellite (DBS) marketing alliance agreement with Superstar/Netlink Group LLC, a division of TV Guide (NASDAQ: TVGIA), to convert its 1.4 million existing and inactive C-Band (large satellite dish) customers to the high power (small satellite dish) DISH NetworkÔ service.
Under the conversion process, EchoStar will compensate Superstar/Netlink Group on a per subscriber basis, both upon successful conversion and residual payments over time. Superstar/Netlink Group will also receive an up-front exclusivity payment of $10 million, making DISH Network the exclusive DBS system it markets. Superstar/Netlink Group customers who choose to convert to DISH Network will be offered a very attractive incentive to convert, including a combination of a free DISH system, free programming, and standard professional installation. Superstar/Netlink Group will continue to own and operate the C-band business.
"This exclusive marketing alliance will give us an inside track to convert a large base of individuals who have satellite TV to the nation's favorite and fastest growing high power service," said Charlie Ergen, chairman and CEO of EchoStar. "It's only a matter of time until most of these C-Band customers transition to a high power service, and with access to these households via Superstar/Netlink Group, we're confident that we will see a large portion of them convert to DISH Network."
"This strategic alliance demonstrates the inherent value of the Superstar/Netlink Group satellite customer base and makes good on our promise to unlock shareholder value with this business. DISH Network is a wonderful product that should enable us to realize significant additional cash flow and long term value from an otherwise mature business while continuing to realize the significant cash flows of the group," said Peter C. Boylan III, President and Chief Operating Officer of TV Guide, Inc.
"This is a clear win for Superstar, Netlink and Turner Vision customers and our employees. Our customers will receive an outstanding offer to convert to DISH Network, the fastest growing and best value small dish system," said Mike McKee, President of Superstar/Netlink Group.
In coordination with EchoStar, Superstar/Netlink Group will market the conversion offer to its customers through a variety of targeted marketing tactics. EchoStar will use its network of dealers for installation of EchoStar systems for Superstar, Netlink and Turner Vision customers who choose to convert to DISH Network.
EchoStar Communications Corp., includes three interrelated business units:
EchoStar V, EchoStars newest, state-of-the-art, high-power direct broadcast satellite, launched on a Lockheed Martin Atlas IIAS rocket on Sept. 23, 1999. EchoStar V, to be located at 110 degrees West Longitude, will allow DISH Network to offer 500 channels, including high definition television, Dolby Digital surround sound, Internet and high-speed interactive television and data services, all on a single dish.
DISH Network, which currently serves over 3 million customers, is a trademark of EchoStar Communications Corporation. DISH Network is located on the Internet at www.dishnetwork.com.
TV Guide, Inc. is a global diversified media and communications company that operates three primary business units: TV Guide Entertainment Group, TV Guide Magazine Group, and United Video Group. TV Guide markets and distributes products in the United States to over 100 million cable and satellite homes every week. TV Guide also markets its products internationally in 45 countries. TV Guide magazine and TV Guide Channel are the largest print and electronic guidance products in the world. TV Guide has unparalleled consumer reach with such products and cable/satellite services as:
TV Guide operates several other business units including:
- SpaceCom Systems - Television Games Network - SSDS
- TV Guide Media Sales - TV Guide Affiliate Sales - TV Guide Enterprise Solutions
- TV Guide International - MMDI - Superstar Netlink Group LLC
On Oct. 4, 1999, TV Guide, Inc. and Gemstar International Group Limited (NASDAQ: GMST) announced that they have entered into a definitive merger agreement under which TV Guide, Inc. will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Gemstar.
For more information on TV GUIDE, contact Gary Gamino (918) 488-4336.
For up to date information about TV Guide companies, please access our Internet home page at www.tvguideinc.com. TV Guide trades on the NASDAQ stock market under the symbol TVGIA.