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EchoStar Offers Family Service Tier

1/19/2006 10:23:00 AM Eastern

Washington, D.C. — EchoStar used a Senate Commerce Committee hearing on decency in broadcasting, cable and other media to announce a new family-oriented programming service on its satellite TV service.

The announcement followed by a day a similar family tier announcement by rival satellite TV provider DirecTV.

The DishFAMILY tier will offer over 40 channels of “family-friendly” channels, starting as an option on Feb. 1, EchoStar said.

Content will encompass sports, news, children's programming, lifestyle, hobbies, shopping, religion, science and public interest.

The package will be offered at $19.99 per month or $24.99 per month with local broadcast TV channels included. That is $10 less than a similar Family Tier announced by DirecTV on Wednesday, and approximately $12 less than many competitive cable TV family tiers, the satellite provider said.

“Other pay-TV providers have introduced family packages but with fewer channels and with a requirement that customers must purchase the family package along with a basic cable package that could be full of inappropriate family material,” EchoStar said in a prepared statement.

The DishFAMILY option is offered as a stand-alone package, and is available to new subscribers with a free satellite TV receiver and free professional installation for up to four rooms.

“DishFAMILY is a package our customers have requested, and we are pleased that congressional hearings and the FCC have played a key role in encouraging programmers to agree to give DISH Network the rights to offer a family pack,” said Eric Sahl, DISH Network programming senior VP.

The DISH Family channel lineup will include the following: Animal Planet, EWTN, Outdoor Channel, The Biography Channel, Food Network, RFDTV, Bloomberg TV, Fox News Channel, Shop at Home, Boomerang, Great American Country, ShopNBC, BYUTV, CNN Headline News, The Science Channel, C-SPAN, HSN, The Weather Channel, C-SPAN-2, NASA, TBN, CSTV, Nickelodean East, TV Land, Discovery Kids, Nickelodean West, QVC, Discovery Times, Nick Games & Sports, Do It Yourself Network, and NickToons. (More programming will be announced soon.)

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