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Press Release: New HD Local Markets, plus Summer and Fall Launch Plans


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#1 OFFLINE   Rob Glasser

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Posted 30 June 2008 - 11:03 AM

DISH NETWORK INCREASES HD LOCAL MARKET COVERAGE AND ANNOUNCES SUMMER AND FALL LAUNCH PLANS



Englewood, Colo., June 30, 2008 – DISH Network Corporation (NASDAQ: DISH), the nation’s third largest pay-TV provider and the digital transition leader, today announced the addition of high definition (HD) local channels in Grand Rapids, Mich. and Memphis, Tenn. DISH Network now offers HD locals in 61 markets reaching more than 68 percent of U.S. TV households.

DISH Network also recently disclosed plans to add 22 HD local markets throughout the summer and fall. These markets include:

  • Abilene, Texas
  • Madison, Wisc.
  • Albany, N.Y.
  • Myrtle Beach, S.C.
  • Beaumont, Texas
  • Omaha, Neb.
  • Chattanooga, Tenn.
  • Quincy, Ill.
  • Columbia-Jefferson, Mo.
  • Sherman-Ada, Texas, Okla.
  • Des Moines, Iowa
  • South Bend, Ind.
  • Fargo, N.D.
  • Syracuse, N.Y.
  • Greenville, N.C.
  • Topeka, Kan.
  • Joplin, Mo.
  • Waco, Texas
  • Lansing, Mich.
  • Wichita Falls, Texas
  • Lincoln, Neb.
  • Wilkes-Barre, Penn.

“Earlier this year, we started delivering on our commitment by adding new HD local markets and offering more national HD channels; the launch of Grand Rapids, Memphis and our additional 22 HD markets demonstrates that we are aggressively moving forward with plans to reach 100 HD local markets and 100 national HD channels,” said Eric Sahl, senior vice president of Programming for DISH Network. “Throughout the remainder of the year, DISH Network will continue adding a variety of HD services – local markets, national channels, On Demand and Pay-Per-View – so our subscribers can enjoy the best technology, value and programming.”

DISH Network offers new customers the opportunity to upgrade for free to a dishHD DVR receiver like the ViP722™ -- which recently received the top-ranking Editors’ Choice awards from both CNET and PC Magazine. The ViP722 is a dual-tuner HD DVR that operates two televisions in separate rooms and offers up to 500 hours of storage capacity allowing customers to pause, rewind and fast forward their favorite TV programming.

Qualified new DISH Network customers who sign up with a 24-month commitment will also receive three months of free programming (a $120 value), a free dishDVR like the ViP722 and free installation (a $49.99 value). For more information on DISH Network, visit www.dishnetwork.com or call 1-800-333-DISH (3474).

# # #


About DISH Network Corporation
DISH Network Corporation (Nasdaq: DISH) provides more than 13.815 million satellite TV customers with industry-leading customer satisfaction which has surpassed major cable companies for eight years running. DISH Network customers also enjoy access to a premier line of award-winning Digital Video Recorders (DVRs), hundreds of video and audio channels, the most International channels in the U.S., industry-leading Interactive TV applications, Latino programming, and the best sports and movies in HD. DISH Network offers a variety of package and price options including the lowest all-digital price in America, the DishDVR Advantage Package, high-speed Internet service, and a free upgrade to the best HD DVR in the industry. DISH Network is included in the Nasdaq-100 Index (NDX) and is a Fortune 300 company. Visit www.dishnetwork.com/aboutus or call 1-800-333-DISH (3474) for more information
Rob

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#2 OFFLINE   JohnH

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Posted 30 June 2008 - 11:22 AM

61 now. Add 22 before Dec. 21. Have to add 17 the last week of Dec. to get to 100 by the end of the year. :D

#3 OFFLINE   fuerion

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Posted 30 June 2008 - 12:10 PM

I'm surprised they haven't said anything about adding Louisville, KY HD locals yet. I mean Louisville is DMA #48, and Abilene, TX for example is 164. I know they probably don't add channels by DMA ranking, but I would think it would have some bearing. I can get my locals OTA, so I don't guess I should complain too much.

#4 OFFLINE   Lincoln6Echo

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Posted 30 June 2008 - 12:26 PM

Sumbitch....my market is still not listed. Of course, it was one of the last ones that D* got, so I'd say I won't see it from E* 'till the very last of the '100 Local markets by year's end' deal.
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#5 OFFLINE   John W

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Posted 30 June 2008 - 01:17 PM

Thank God Mrs. W got "us" that antenna for Christmas. Now, if we could just get the pos Nexstar station to get off its rear we could wait forever on Dish.

#6 OFFLINE   Bobby H

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Posted 30 June 2008 - 02:27 PM

I mean Louisville is DMA #48, and Abilene, TX for example is 164. I know they probably don't add channels by DMA ranking, but I would think it would have some bearing.


Market ranking may carry some weight. However, I think geographical location could play a part as well as the customer market percentage E* has in a particular market.

I'm wondering if it is easier for E* to get HD locals on 61.5° active in markets near the geographical center of the continental US than places farther east or west. A number of uplinked HD locals in Texas and Oklahoma are in close proximity of each other (Abilene, Wichita Falls/Lawton, Sherman/Ada, etc.). The Dallas market had some changes made to it, and it is very close to those other previously mentioned markets.

One other thing worth mentioning at least in regard to Wichita Falls/Lawton: D* doesn't have any local channel support in that market at all. Not in SD or HD. I'm pretty sure most satellite TV customers in that area are with E* -largely because of the locals situation.

#7 OFFLINE   jimborst

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Posted 30 June 2008 - 02:56 PM

One other thing worth mentioning at least in regard to Wichita Falls/Lawton: D* doesn't have any local channel support in that market at all. Not in SD or HD. I'm pretty sure most satellite TV customers in that area are with E* -largely because of the locals situation.



D* still (as of a few months ago) does not have my locals in SD so if you see a dish around here it is more likely to be E*. So a market like this with better E* subscribers, it would be better for them to upgrade to HD (although I doubt that will happen for a while).

#8 OFFLINE   Bill R

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Posted 30 June 2008 - 03:37 PM

Market ranking may carry some weight. However, I think geographical location could play a part as well as the customer market percentage E* has in a particular market.


I think it does to some extend but I think the main factor is who DISH can come to an agreement with. My market (Cincinnati) has two "stinker" stations that just won't agree to let DISH carry their HD feed. Whose fault is it? Not being privy to what the stations want or what DISH is offering we will likely never know. I do know that DISH is losing customer in this market because they don't carry the HD locals and don't carry the local CW network SD feed. I'll bet the same thing is happening in other markets.
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#9 OFFLINE   siper66

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Posted 30 June 2008 - 03:48 PM

When will Columbus Ohio get any HD love from Dish? NO indication that they are anywhere on the horizon?

#10 OFFLINE   tvjay

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Posted 30 June 2008 - 06:55 PM

When will Columbus Ohio get any HD love from Dish? NO indication that they are anywhere on the horizon?


That surprises me considering that Columbus is market 32.
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#11 OFFLINE   jclewter79

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Posted 30 June 2008 - 09:01 PM

Market ranking may carry some weight. However, I think geographical location could play a part as well as the customer market percentage E* has in a particular market.

I'm wondering if it is easier for E* to get HD locals on 61.5° active in markets near the geographical center of the continental US than places farther east or west. A number of uplinked HD locals in Texas and Oklahoma are in close proximity of each other (Abilene, Wichita Falls/Lawton, Sherman/Ada, etc.). The Dallas market had some changes made to it, and it is very close to those other previously mentioned markets.

One other thing worth mentioning at least in regard to Wichita Falls/Lawton: D* doesn't have any local channel support in that market at all. Not in SD or HD. I'm pretty sure most satellite TV customers in that area are with E* -largely because of the locals situation.


Same for Sherman/Ada. No locals on D* at all. Most sat customers here have E* unless they want sunday ticket.

#12 OFFLINE   joe42

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Posted 30 June 2008 - 09:44 PM

Same for Sherman/Ada. No locals on D* at all. Most sat customers here have E* unless they want sunday ticket.


Oddly aside from us most of my family members have Direct TV and I don't understand why. My parents, my brother, my wife's parents and her sister and husband all have DirectTV. I guess I'm just not use to it but I can never figure out how to work the guide or tv.

I really hope Sherman/Ada can get HD locals soon. I'm pretty much waiting on it and Nick for the kids to switch over.

I wish they could get a Dallas or OKC- HD ABC channel added to the package too. Seems kind of strange there's not an ABC channel (or even a partial one back when KTEN was NBC/ABC hybrid). Having everything in HD eventually except ABC coming through American Direct is gonna make it look terrible.

#13 OFFLINE   jclewter79

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Posted 01 July 2008 - 03:43 AM

Oddly aside from us most of my family members have Direct TV and I don't understand why. My parents, my brother, my wife's parents and her sister and husband all have DirectTV. I guess I'm just not use to it but I can never figure out how to work the guide or tv.

I really hope Sherman/Ada can get HD locals soon. I'm pretty much waiting on it and Nick for the kids to switch over.

I wish they could get a Dallas or OKC- HD ABC channel added to the package too. Seems kind of strange there's not an ABC channel (or even a partial one back when KTEN was NBC/ABC hybrid). Having everything in HD eventually except ABC coming through American Direct is gonna make it look terrible.


I know what you mean. I used to have a waiver and was allowed to get WFAA out of Dallas but, couple of years ago when that court ruiling came though I lost it. What I finally did was put up an antenna to get WFAA and when I bite the bullet and get that 722 I have been wanting, I will be able to record on it and it will be intergrated into the sat service so that will be nice. It is great that HD is coming because with my antenna pointed at dallas I can't get 10 or 12 very good. What I hope is that we also get the that MYTV subchannel from ch. 12 and that CW subchannel from ch 10. But hey you are lucky, in north texas you can not even get american direct because WFAA will deny your waiver.

#14 OFFLINE   samchecker

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Posted 01 July 2008 - 07:35 AM

That surprises me considering that Columbus is market 32.



Indeed. You have to wonder if our absence from the list is because of the fact that the infamous Sinclair owns our ABC and Fox affiliates...

#15 OFFLINE   valvestud

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Posted 01 July 2008 - 08:20 AM

Wow! Given the size of Tucson as compared to some of the other markets listed, I'm bummed we're not on the list. I understood we were on the list for this year, but maybe not.

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#16 OFFLINE   Hunter Green

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Posted 01 July 2008 - 09:23 AM

Sometimes it's not just the size of the market but also the saturation of other providers there. DISH can make more money serving a poorly-served but smaller market than a well-served large market in some cases.

#17 OFFLINE   Bobby H

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Posted 01 July 2008 - 09:51 AM

I'm still wondering if geographical position in the country is a factor. Is it easier to spot beam a set of local channels to a position in Texas than it is to somewhere in Ohio or California?

#18 OFFLINE   rkklinke

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Posted 01 July 2008 - 11:01 AM

Is that list in any sort of order or are they just randomly put up there?



With regards to what markets get HD first, I think the largest markets would get it first but I have also heard that the local stations can really muck things up. If a local network station in a paticular market is being a pest about signing up it can delay the whole market from getting done. Dish is always working every side of a situation to get the best price and once you get out of those top tier markets (Top 20) or so, I think they play hard ball with the middle and smaller ones. We have over half a million in our county and probably close to 800K in our local TV market. D* has had local HD's in our market for quite a while and we are still waiting for E*.

#19 OFFLINE   Bobby H

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Posted 01 July 2008 - 11:47 AM

E* appears to be working loosely in the order of when each market was uplinked to the satellite. Some markets are lighting up earlier than others.

According to the E* Knowledge Base page on HD locals these are the markets currently uplinked to 61.5° in HD, but not yet available:

Greenville, NC - uplinked 3/12/08
Beaumont, TX - uplinked 3/19/08
Fargo, ND - uplinked 4/2/08
Florence/Myrtle Beach - uplinked 4/2/08
Madison, WI - uplinked 4/2/08
Sherman, TX/Ada, OK - uplinked 4/2/08
South Bend, IN - uplinked 4/2/08
Wichita Falls, TX/Lawton, OK - uplinked 4/2/08
Albany, NY - uplinked 4/9/08
Burlington, VT - uplinked 4/9/08
Chattanooga, TN - uplinked 4/9/08
Waco, TX - uplinked 4/9/08
Lansing, MI - uplinked 4/16/08
Syracuse, NY - uplinked 4/16/08
Scranton, PA - uplinked 5/21/08

With regards to what markets get HD first, I think the largest markets would get it first but I have also heard that the local stations can really muck things up. If a local network station in a paticular market is being a pest about signing up it can delay the whole market from getting done.


I do not understand why any TV would do this since it would only serve to put them at a competitive disadvantage for ad revenue with rival TV stations.

The ABC affiliate in my viewing market (KSWO channel 7 out of Lawton, OK) resisted allowing E* to re-broadcast their signal. They held to that until the three network affiliates south of the Red River in Wichita Falls started beating them up about it when pitching local businesses on TV commercial ad packages, "your ad will get seen on satellite with our station, but not with KSWO." Channel 7 changed their tune really fast.

We have over half a million in our county and probably close to 800K in our local TV market. D* has had local HD's in our market for quite a while and we are still waiting for E*.


That could actually be hurting rather than helping the cause of getting locals in HD with E*. Echostar could be throwing more of its resources into markets where it has a higher percentage of the market.

#20 OFFLINE   BobaBird

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Posted 01 July 2008 - 09:02 PM

I understood we were on the list for this year, but maybe not.

The current effort is focused on filling the E*12 spot-beams from 61.5°. There's been little if any mention of the markets shown in the 11 western CONUS states while this is going on, but they'll probably need to get to them to reach the target of 100 by the end of the year. Or they may have to wait for the E*5 replacement at 129° which I'm guessing won't be in service until early 2009. Dish really needs everyone's launches to go smoothly this year so Ciel-2 can be in place before E*5 can no longer be kept in place.

p.s. There is room today for Tucson on a spot-beam from (IIRC) 110°.
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