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EchoStar Launches DISH Network Education -- New Distance-Learning Service First in DBS History; DISH Network Education's First Channel -- Schoolhouse Network -- to Link Nation's Classrooms

LITTLETON, Colo.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 2, 1999--EchoStar Communications Corp. (NASDAQ: DISH, DISHP) is pleased to announce today the launch of DISH Network Education™ and its first channel, The Schoolhouse Network, which are revolutionary services offering K-12 education via direct broadcast satellite (DBS) throughout the United States.

    Content rich and educationally sound, DISH Network Education's programming will help teachers and home-schooling parents augment their curriculums with a variety of award winning distance-learning programs. The Schoolhouse Network launched today nationwide exclusively on DISH Network Education and is the first of many upcoming educational programs DISH Network Education hopes to offer.

    DISH Network Education is dedicated to providing the best programming for distance learning available for all ages, from learning a foreign language to English as a second language, virtual field trips to GED courses, or staff development to parent education.

    "Our focus is to offer high-quality educational tools to a large sector of learning centers, whether it is a business, educational institution or an individual home," said Bill Vanderpoel, vice president of Business Development for EchoStar. "Our programming roots are based on solid, thoroughly researched curriculums used in schools throughout the country. To provide these benefits of distance learning through satellite television -- and have the ability to tailor these programs to meet individual needs -- is truly exciting."

    This unique partnership with The Schoolhouse Network extends the classroom by allowing the student to connect with other students, educators, or business and government leaders.

    "Since we are the first DBS company to offer this kind of educational programming, we are proud to have Schoolhouse as DISH Network Education's inaugural channel," Vanderpoel said.

    "Our partnerships with the leading educational producers of video content and web-based support will be the cornerstone for the success of the Schoolhouse Network in affiliation with DISH Network Education," said John Flores, chairman of The Schoolhouse Network, Inc. "The Schoolhouse Network is an exciting opportunity for students and educators around the world. It will bring in the best-of-the-best educational distance learning programs to public, private, parochial or home-school classrooms."

    DISH Network Education's satellite broadcasts will provide the availability for on-demand teaching services from the same 18-inch satellite dish used by over 2 million DISH Network™ television entertainment subscribers today.

    Future DISH Network Education programming includes the following:
    -- Classroom Learning: Satellite TV programs for all grade
    levels, designed to complement teacher-based learning.
    -- Personal Enrichment: Programming available for continuing
    education and adult learners.
    -- Professional Growth: In-home professional certification and
    degree programs.
    -- Parent Schooling: Resources for the home-schooling parent.
    -- Educational Entertainment: Education channels like the
    Learning Channel, the History Channel, Bloomberg Television
    or the Discovery Channel, for all ages and interests.
    -- Data Services: High-speed data transmission including
    interactive television and Internet access.

    For more information, call DISH Network Education at 1-877-DISH-EDU (347-4338).

    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.

    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:


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

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