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EchoStar Expresses Interest in PrimeStar's High-Powered Satellite Assets

LITTLETON, Colo.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 26, 1999--EchoStar Communications Corp. (NASDAQ: DISH, DISHP) confirmed press reports today that it had sent a letter to the Board of Directors of PrimeStar, Inc., expressing its desire and willingness to make an offer to purchase PrimeStar's high-powered direct broadcast satellite (DBS) assets.

    These assets consist of two high-powered DBS satellites, Tempo I and Tempo II, and 11 of the 32 full-CONUS DBS frequencies located at the 119-degree West Longitude orbital position. EchoStar's letter stated that it was ready, willing and able to make an offer to pay $600 million of total consideration (including assumed liabilities) for these assets on terms substantially the same as those contained in the agreement among PrimeStar, Hughes Electronics Corporation, and certain other persons dated Jan. 22, 1999. A condition to the making of the offer would be the ability of PrimeStar to enter into and perform its obligations under a definitive agreement with EchoStar without breaching any contract to which PrimeStar or any of its affiliates is a party or by which they are otherwise bound.

    EchoStar is licensed for and is currently operating the remaining 21 DBS frequencies at the 119-degree W.L. orbital slot and is currently serving more than 2 million DISH Network™ customers.

    Subject to regulatory approvals, EchoStar would use these assets to provide local programming, high definition television and data services to additional U.S. markets.

    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, installation, financing and leasing.

- 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.

    The DISH Network currently serves over 2 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


     --30--SH/dx*


CONTACT: EchoStar Communications Corp., Littleton Judianne Atencio, Communications Director, 303/723-2010 judianne.atencio@echostar.com Marc Lumpkin, Communications Manager, 303/723-2020 marc.lumpkin@echostar.com

KEYWORD: COLORADO INDUSTRY KEYWORD: TELECOMMUNICATIONS ENTERTAINMENT



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