EchoStar Communications Corp. launched its latest consumer
promotion early this month, offering new Dish Network customers a professional
installation for $49.
That's $150 less than the typical professional
installation price of $199. To reduce the cost of entry further, consumers instead can
choose a free self-install kit.
A spokesman said EchoStar will back the offer with a heavy
newspaper and magazine advertising campaign that's set to begin today (Aug. 10). The
approximately 15,000 Dish Network dealers across the country are also expected to support
the offer with their own advertising.
EchoStar's entry-level direct-broadcast satellite
system sells for $149, and monthly programming packages start at $19.99.
The promotion runs through September. The company ended its
previous promotion on July 31. Dish Network president John Reardon said earlier this year
that the company intends to launch a new promotional offer as soon as the previous one
DBS competitors DirecTv Inc. and PrimeStar Inc. have been
equally aggressive in launching new promotions throughout the year.
EchoStar has also added Los Angeles to the list of markets
where it retransmits local broadcast signals. Unlike most local-signal subscribers, Los
Angeles customers would not need a second dish, because Dish Network is already uplinking
the local broadcast channels in New York City and Los Angeles to its main satellites at
119 degrees west longitude to serve as its East and West Coast distant network feeds.
Chairman and CEO Charlie Ergen told viewers of his monthly
on-air Charlie Chat on Aug. 3 that Dish Network will begin delivering
local-to-local service in six new markets starting Aug. 15. The cities are Miami, Salt
Lake City, Denver, Phoenix and San Francisco. Subscribers in each of those new markets
would require a second dish.
Ergen said he hopes to add another seven local-to-local
markets by the end of the year.
White area restrictions still limit the potential customer
base for local-to-local service. Ergen urged viewers of his Charlie Chat to contact
Congress and the Federal Communications Commission to help update regulations to allow
easier access to local and distant network television signals over satellite.