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EchoStar Signs ESPN HD, Bows HD Tier

EchoStar Communications Corp. is playing up its HD offerings, signing a deal
with ESPN to bring the sports network's new HD channel to its Dish Network
programming lineup as part of a new HD pay tier.

The ESPN deal will bring ESPN HD to Dish Network’s HD-tier program lineup
beginning Sept. 16. It will be part of a new pay HD tier EchoStar is rolling
out, which also offers Discovery HD Theater, HDNet and HDNet Movies for $9.99
per month or $109.89 yearly.

Outside of that tier, Dish offers HD fare from CBS, Home Box Office and
Showtime Networks Inc., as well as HD Dish-on-Demand pay-per-view movies.

This fall, EchoStar plans to add a new entry-level HD box, the "Dish 811,"
which will retail for about $399. It also plans to unveil a new HD
digital-video-recorder box later this year.

"ESPN HD is enriching the lives of high-definition viewers by providing
incredible sports-programming detail that only an HDTV signal can provide," said
Steve Raymond, ESPN senior vice president of national accounts for the Western
division, in a release.

ESPN HD debuted in March as the first around-the-clock national sports
channel presented in HD, featuring games from Major League Baseball, the
National Basketball Association, the National Football League, the National
Hockey League and the NCAA Women's Basketball Championship.