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EchoStar Customer Count Up 21% In Q3

LITTLETON, COLO. -Customer growth at EchoStar Communications’ DISH Network continued on its fast pace this year, with net third-quarter subscriber growth jumping 21 percent, compared with the same three months in 1999. The direct broadcast satellite TV service added about 455,000 net new subscribers during the three months ended Sept. 30.

DISH Network passed the 5-million-customer mark during November, as subscriber growth for the nine months climbed 31 percent, compared with the growth during the same period in 1999. As a result, EchoStar said its DISH Network captured over 58 percent of all new DBS TV subscribers during the first nine months of this year.

For the third quarter, EchoStar reported total revenue of $698 million, a 39 percent jump over the $428 million recorded in the same quarter last year.

However, with record customer growth, the company experienced increased up-front acquisition costs that resulted in increased operating and net losses, compared to the corresponding period last year.

EchoStar’s operating loss for the third quarter was $82 million, compared to $79 million in the year-ago third quarter. Net losses totaled $131 million for the three months, compared with $124 million during the third quarter in 1999.

For the nine months, revenues increased to $1.9 billion, nearly doubling from the $1.1 billion reported in the first nine months of last year. The operating loss for the period was $310 million, compared with $186 million in the year-ago nine months. Net losses reached $448.8 million, compared with $572.9 million in the same period last year.