EchoStar, DirecTV tap Grand Rapids

EchoStar Communications Corp. and DirecTV Inc. both plan to bring local
television signals next to Grand Rapids, Mich., both companies said separately
this week.

EchoStar plans to begin service in Grand Rapids Friday at a cost of $5.99
per month. It will carry six commercial stations and one public broadcaster on its
main satellite.

EchoStar will also offer WTLJ, channel 54, via a second dish that it will
install at customers' homes free of charge.

DirecTV plans to add Grand Rapids in mid-July.

The additional market will bring EchoStar to a total of 37 markets in which
it offers local TV service.

DirecTV offers local TV signals in 43 local markets so far, but it plans to have
local service in 51 markets by year-end.

Contributing editor Paige Albiniak has been covering the business of television for nearly 25 years. She is a longtime contributor to Next TV, Broadcasting + Cable and Multichannel News. She concurrently serves as editorial director for entertainment marketing association Promax. She has written for such publications as TVNewsCheck, The New York Post, Variety, CBS Watch and more. Albiniak was B+C’s Los Angeles bureau chief from September 2002 to 2004, and an associate editor covering Congress and lobbying for the magazine in Washington, D.C., from January 1997-September 2002.