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EchoStar Dishes Up 13M Subscribers

12/22/2006 12:34:00 PM Eastern

Englewood, Colo. – On the day that its Englewood neighbor Liberty Media moved to gain control of its biggest competitor, DirecTV, EchoStar revealed that the DISH Network satellite TV service passed the 13 million subscriber mark and unveiled a more simplified pricing structure for HDTV service.

The 10-year-old company also said it expects to raise programming prices by about 3 percent in 2007 to reflect rising programming costs.

EchoStar said its addition of 7.74 million net new customers over the past six years, makes it the “fastest-growing pay-TV provider in the nation since 2000.”

“Reaching the 13 million milestone is due in no small part to DISH Network's ongoing focus to provide customers with cutting-edge technology, the most comprehensive HD channel lineup, and a wide variety of programming packages – all at an unparalleled value,” Charlie Ergen, EchoStar chairman and CEO, said in a statement.

EchoStar said it will further simplify the process of HDTV adoption for its subscribers by introducing a $20 monthly add-on fee for its non-premium its HDTV programming tier.

The fee would be added to the price paid for DISH’s standard TV services package.

Previously, EchoStar had charged a rate based on the number of HDTV and standard definition channels chosen by the subscriber.

The DISH Network currently offers 30 national HDTV channels; plus local HD broadcast networks in certain markets.