EchoStar Communications Corp. plans to add National Geographic Channel to its
Dish Network 'America's Top 150' package Friday, chairman Charlie Ergen said
Monday night during an on-air 'Charlie Chat' with subscribers.
Ergen said NGC had been the No. 1 most-requested channel in recent
The company continues to promote its top-tiered programming package
aggressively, offering subscribers who upgrade to Top 150 by the end of July a
chance to win a trip to Manhattan in Bloomberg Television's 'New York Power
Ergen also announced that Dish would add several new local-to-local markets
this month, including Burlington, Vt.; Tucson, Ariz.; and Tulsa, Okla., which
should bring the company's total markets offering local channels to 43.
EchoStar could serve as many as 50 markets with local broadcast channels
following the successful launch of its EchoStar VIII satellite later this
summer, Ergen predicted.
EchoStar VIII was expected to launch last month, but it was delayed when a
problem was detected with the satellite in a prelaunch check. No new launch date
has been set, but Ergen said he hopes the launch will be rescheduled for this
summer and the new satellite will be operational this fall.
Also during the chat, Ergen confirmed that the company's new dual-tuner
personal video recorder, the 'DishPVR 721,' is shipping at a suggested retail
price of $549, or $599 including the satellite dish.