DISH Network Launches Local TV Stations in High Definition in Kansas City via Satellite; DishHD is Nation's Largest Package of High Definition Channels
ENGLEWOOD, Colo.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 13, 2006--EchoStar Communications Corporation (NASDAQ: DISH) and its DISH Network(TM) satellite TV service announced today it launched local high definition TV channels via its satellite TV service to customers in Kansas City and its 30 surrounding counties. The following local TV channels will be available: ABC Ch. 9 (KMBC), CBS Ch. 5 (KCTV), NBC Ch. 41 (KSHB) and FOX Ch. 4 (WDAF). 

This is the first time HD local TV channels are available by satellite TV in Kansas City, providing an alternative to local cable service. With the addition of HD locals in Kansas City, customers can now watch "Desperate Housewives" on ABC, "CSI" on CBS, "Law & Order" on NBC and "American Idol" on FOX, all in breath-taking high definition.

According to a September 2005 study conducted by Kagan Research, there will be some 34 million HDTV households in the United States by the end of 2006, and roughly 15 million of those households will purchase their HDTV monitor this year. Kagan Research also shows that HDTV sales are expected to grow exponentially in the coming years, with nearly 83 percent of all U.S. households purchasing an HDTV monitor by 2010.

Because almost 40 percent of HDTV households do not subscribe to HD programming, DISH Network expanded its HD channel lineup in 2006 and launched the new DishHD programming packages. With the addition of new national HD networks including ESPN2 HD and Universal HD, plus five new original VOOM HD channels, DishHD offers the most comprehensive lineup of HD programming in the pay-TV industry. DISH Network is the nation's sole provider of 15 original VOOM HD channels, which provide 24-7, commercial free HD programming featuring movies, sports, news, family and original programming.

DISH Network will launch high definition local channels through its satellite service in additional cities across the country, reaching more than 50 percent of U.S. TV households with local HD channels by year end.

DishHD(TM) packages offer customers more than 1,700 hours of HD programming every week across its more than 23 available channels which include HD local broadcasts. For only $49.99 a month, customers can access the entire DishHD lineup plus get more than 70 all-digital standard definition channels. Local channels in both high definition and standard definition can be added for $5 a month. DISH Network offers nearly twice as many national HD channels as most cable companies, and with a national average of just 10 HD channels, cable cannot match the robust lineup of DishHD.

DISH Network offers local channels via satellite to Kansas City area customers in the following 22 Missouri counties including: Bates, Caldwell, Carroll, Cass, Clay, Clinton, Daviess, Gentry, Grundy, Harrison, Henry, Jackson, Johnson, Lafayette, Linn, Livingston, Mercer, Nodaway, Pettis, Platte, Ray and Saline.

In addition, DISH Network will deliver HD locals in the following nine Kansas counties including: Anderson, Atchison, Douglas, Franklin, Johnson, Leavenworth, Linn, Miami and Wyandotte.

Consumers can call 1-800-333-DISH (3474), visit or contact their local retailer for more information about DISH Network.

About EchoStar

EchoStar Communications Corporation (NASDAQ: DISH) serves more than 12 million satellite TV customers through its DISH Network(TM), the fastest growing U.S. provider of advanced digital television services in the last five years. DISH Network offers hundreds of video and audio channels, Interactive TV, HDTV, sports and international programming, together with professional installation and 24-hour customer service.



Mark Cicero, 720-514-5351