Dish Tops 10M Mark

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EchoStar Communications Corp. said Monday that its Dish Network direct-broadcast satellite service now has more than 10 million subscribers.

The company said Dish reached the milestone in less than 99 months after activating its first subscriber in early March 1996, adding an average of more than 100,000 net new customers each month.

EchoStar added that Dish has added more than 6.3 million net new customers in the past four years -- more than all other satellite-TV and cable companies combined during that period.

To celebrate reaching the milestone, EchoStar said it will launch the “$1 Million Great HDTV Giveaway,” during which 1,000 random Dish customers will receive HD monitors, HD satellite receivers, dish antennas and one-year subscriptions to Dish’s HD-programming package.

“We couldn't have reached 10 million without our customers and retailers, so we're thanking them by giving away 1,000 of our state-of-the-art HDTV systems,” chairman and CEO Charles Ergen said in a prepared statement.