EchoStar Not Planning Mexico Service


Responding to criticism from U.S. TV broadcasters, EchoStar Communications
Corp. said it has no plans to provide video-programming service in Mexico even
though a new satellite could serve that country.

'We are prohibited from serving Mexico. We have not filed anything suggesting
that we intend to serve Mexico,' director of legislative and business affairs
David Goodfriend said.

On Monday, the National Association of Broadcasters filed a letter informing
the Federal Communications Commission that EchoStar sought the agency's
permission to aim a satellite transponder at Mexico City. EchoStar's new
satellite would rely on 'spot beams' to provide local TV signals around the
United States.

The NAB said its letter was intended to highlight the fact that EchoStar
reserved a spot beam for Mexico City after claiming that FCC rules requiring
carriage of all local TV signals in a market prevented the company from
expanding beyond the top 40 U.S. markets.

The trade group added that it wanted to 'point out EchoStar's lack of candor
on this important matter.'

EchoStar, Goodfriend said, could not use the Mexico City transponder to serve
the United States because it would interfere with local TV signals being
broadcast to the U.S. by other spot-beam transponders.

'Our opponents have it wrong on the technology, the policy and the law,' he
added. 'We were left with one orphan spot beam that we could not point at the
continental U.S. without causing self-interference.'

Goodfriend also pointed out that EchoStar's satellites are currently capable
of providing direct-broadcast satellite service to Canada and Mexico, but no one
has suggested that the company was planning to provide service in those