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June 17, 2002
Contact: Catherine Frymark
(301) 771-5938 or Gillian Renault (404) 378-7259


-- Distribution Deal with DISH Network Makes Discovery First Basic Cable Network to Launch Nationwide HD Service --
-- Launch Significantly Bolsters Cable Operators’ Efforts to Roll Out HD --
Bethesda, MD -- Marking an exciting new chapter in television history, Discovery Communications, Inc. (DCI) announces the launch today at 5:00 p.m. (ET) of Discovery HD Theater.™ The new 24-hour high-definition television (HDTV) network will be launched on HD platforms being rolled out by EchoStar Communications Corporation on its DISH Network satellite TV service nationwide, AT&T Broadband’s Greater Chicago Market (where plans are set to launch HDTV service later this summer), and in numerous other markets by Charter Communciations, Inc. (Nasdaq: CHTR) and Cox Communications, Inc.

The launch makes DCI one of the first media and communications companies in the country -- and the first family of basic cable networks -- to support FCC chairman Michael Powell’s mandate to broadcast digital signals to spur the growth of HDTV and digital television.

Discovery HD Theater™ features fiction and non-fiction HDTV programming in all categories of entertainment offered by DCI, including nature, history, world cultures, geographic exploration, science, education, travel and vacation planning, world news and events, children’s education and entertainment, health and medicine and how-to programming in the areas of home, hobbies and cooking. The debut of Discovery HD Theater™ coincides with the 17th anniversary of the launch of the Discovery Channel on June 17, 1985.

“With Discovery HD Theater™, the number one consumer brand enters the next generation of Discovery,” said John S. Hendricks, founder, chairman and CEO of Discovery Communications, Inc. “Ever since the Discovery Channel launched 17 years ago, audiences have looked to us to lead the way in offering the highest-quality content.

“As the creators of the country’s number one consumer brand for overall quality, it’s fitting that we pioneer the rollout of a product that helps viewers explore the world around them in clearer, more illuminating detail than ever before, and that also supports operators in their important efforts to introduce this service to the great benefit of their subscribers.”

“More than six years ago, we were among the first to support our distribution partners with content for their digital rollouts, and today we’re delighted to be at the forefront of introducing high-definition television,” said Bill Goodwyn, executive vice president, Affiliate Sales and Marketing, Discovery Networks, U.S. “We’re pleased to provide the next level of support in Discovery HD Theater™ -- a compelling service that supports our distribution partners in launching their exciting new HD offerings to customers through cable in numerous markets, and nationwide through DISH Network.”

Discovery HD Theater™ is delivered to cable systems and satellite providers via Satcom C4, Transponder 14 and will be delivered in 1080i high-definition resolution.

“We’re pleased that Discovery is taking a leading role among the networks in improving HDTV programming choices to DISH Network customers,” said Michael Schwimmer, senior vice president of Programming at EchoStar. “With this programming and retail store partnership, we are speeding the nation’s adoption of digital and high definition television. We look forward to adding Discovery HD Theater to our prominent list of satellite-delivered HD channels that include HBO, Showtime, CBS, and HD pay per view.”

DCI will promote Discovery HD Theater™ in its chain of retail outlets -- Discovery Channel Stores -- across the United States, through a marketing partnership with DISH Network. DISH Network will deliver a live feed of the Discovery HD Theater™ signal in these stores while showcasing DISH Network HD equipment and services in Discovery Channel Stores beginning this summer.

DISH Network customers can receive high definition channels using the DISH Network Model 6000 receiver. DISH Network will offer Discovery HD Theater™ for $7.99 per month. A second dish may be required.

“Discovery is one of the most popular cable networks we offer, and its programming is tailor-made for HD,”said Allan Singer, senior vice president of Programming for AT&T Broadband. “We are pleased to add Discovery HD as we begin rolling out HDTV in Chicago later this year.” AT&T Broadband’s Greater Chicago Market will roll out the service later this summer.

“When we launched our new Charter High Definition Service just a few weeks ago, we said a priority would be to rapidly build an impressive lineup of high-definition programming to help our customers realize the full value of their HDTV sets. Discovery HD Theater will help us do just that,” said Diane Schneiderjohn, Charter senior vice president of Marketing & Programming. “We believe that with Discovery’s reputation for high-quality, entertaining programming, our HDTV customers will benefit immensely from what this new network will offer them.”

“We are happy to be participating with Discovery in this latest and exciting evolution of television service,” said Bob Wilson, vice president of Programming for Cox Communications, Inc., “Discovery’s programming is a perfect match for high definition technology.”

The network will provide continuous 24-hour HDTV programming repeated in three-hour blocks, and presented in a theatrical format, with limited commercial interruptions. Discovery will offer its advertisers the unique opportunity to provide commercial messages with compelling high-definition clarity. Programs less than 30 minutes in length will have no commercial breaks; instead, they will be preceded and followed by commercial messages from the channel’s presenting sponsors. Programs longer than 30 minutes will contain intermissions.

Discovery HD Theater™ currently has more than 110 hours of high-definition hours available to be scheduled, and will more than triple its library by the end of 2003. Sample titles include:
· WHEN DINOSAURS ROAMED AMERICA -- The special dissolves from modern-day city scapes in North America to recreate what our land looked like many millions of years ago and show how dinosaurs lived and died right in our own backyard.
· BEFORE WE RULED THE EARTH -- This lavishly produced two-hour event outlines early **** sapien’s fight for survival and our ongoing will to live. The project features breathtaking re-creations shot around the world combined with stunning computer graphics developed at Meteor Studios, a state-of-the-art animation facility (a joint venture of DCI and Evergreen Films).
· THE MYSTERY OF THE ALASKAN MUMMIES -- This program presents a comprehensive look at the mysterious remains, their remote island home and the scientists who have braved the harsh Aleutian climate to chart the fate of the ancient Unangan people.
· ALIEN INSECT: PRAYING MANTIS -- This film penetrates the world of these “personified aliens” and shows never before seen pictures of how a new species of praying mantis lives, loves and dies.

Discovery Communications, Inc. is the leading global real-world media and entertainment company. DCI has grown from its core property, the Discovery Channel, first launched in the United States in 1985, to current global operations in more than 155 countries and territories with over 700 million cumulative subscribers. DCI’s 33 networks of distinctive programming represent 14 entertainment brands including TLC, Animal Planet, Travel Channel, Discovery Health Channel, Discovery Kids and a family of newer, targeted channels. DCI’s other properties consist of Discovery.com and 167 Discovery Channel retail stores. DCI also distributes BBC America in the United States. DCI’s ownership consists of four shareholders: Liberty Media Corporation (NYSE: L), Cox Communications, Inc. (NYSE: COX), Advance/Newhouse Communications and John S. Hendricks, the Company’s Founder, Chairman and CEO.
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