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Cablevision, EchoStar Win Licenses

Cablevision Systems Corp. and EchoStar Communications Corp. won the three direct-broadcast satellite licenses, for a total of 93 channels, auctioned by the Federal Communications Commission last week. Results of the auction were announced Tuesday.

The licenses cover orbital locations at 175 degrees and 166 degrees West longitude, each with 32 channels, and 157 degrees W.L., with 29 channels.

Cablevision's bid for the two 32-channel slots was $6.4 million. The capacity will help it build out its new VOOM high-def DBS service.

EchoStar bid $5.8 million and actually will get a $300,000 refund because its winning bid was lower than the $6.1 million downpayment necessary to participate in the auction.

The licenses will not reach the East Coast, but will cover the rest of the continental U.S., Alaska, Hawaii, Australia and parts of Asia.