The direct-broadcast satellite industry ended August with
its hottest summer-sales season to date, as both DirecTV Inc. and EchoStar Communications
Corp. posted record subscriber acquisitions compared with figures from the same month in
EchoStar announced last week that it added 130,000 net new
subscribers last month for its Dish Network service, up 78 percent from its August 1998
figures. Dish's customer base totaled 2.84 million at the end of last month.
With 900,000 net subscribers so far this year, EchoStar's
growth rate is up 84 percent for the first eight months versus last year at the same time.
DBS rival DirecTV Inc. reported one week earlier that it
added 141,000 net new customers in August, plus another 75,000 converted from its
PrimeStar by DirecTV medium-power satellite service. Its total subscriber base for both
services topped 7.5 million by the end of August.
At 932,000 net new subscribers for the year, DirecTV
acquired just 32,000 more high-power subscribers in the first eight months of 1999 than
Between the two companies, the DBS industry serves more
than 10 million customers, and it is poised to add well over 1 million more by the end of