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DISH Network Achieves 2 Million Customers; EchoStar's DISH Network Grows to Over 2 Million Customers in Less Than Three Years

LITTLETON, Colo.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 21, 1999--EchoStar Communications Corp. (NASDAQ: DISH, DISHP) announced today that its DISH Network™ satellite television service has grown to over 2 million customers, only one year after reaching 1 million subscribers, making EchoStar the fastest growing direct broadcast satellite (DBS) provider in the United States.

    EchoStar added approximately 900,000 net subscribers in 1998, a 30 percent increase over the previous year. This swift expansion earned EchoStar over 37 percent of DBS industry growth during 1998.

    "This milestone for DISH Network is the result of the many contributions of over 3,000 employees, over 15,000 satellite retailers, and numerous programmers and vendors," said Charlie Ergen, chairman and CEO of EchoStar. "With the successful launch of local channels in 13 U.S. cities and the agreement with News Corp., 1998 has truly been a memorable year for EchoStar. We look forward to the second half of 1999 when DISH Network will offer 500 channels and provide a one dish solution for local network programming by satellite. And we'll do it with the same low prices on programming and hardware that our subscribers are accustomed to."

    EchoStar activated its first DISH Network customer in March 1996, and added more subscribers in its first year than any of its direct-to-home satellite competitors added in their startup year. DISH Network provides over 300 channels of digital audio and video programming and has guaranteed not to raise its prices on its most popular programming packages before March 2000.

    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: www.dishnetwork.com or can be reached by calling 1-800-333-DISH (3474).


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

KEYWORD: COLORADO INDUSTRY KEYWORD: TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMED ENTERTAINMENT



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