EchoStar Plans Two Bird Launches


EchoStar Communications Corp. said Monday that it will launch two new
satellites -- in the fourth quarter of this year and the first quarter of 2002
-- with the help of Lockheed Martin Corp.'s International Launch Services.

The EchoStar VII and VIII high-powered direct-broadcast satellites will
incorporate spot-beam technology, allowing the company to meet must-carry
requirements if enforced.

Under current federal law, DBS companies EchoStar and DirecTV Inc. are
required by next January to carry all broadcast channels in markets where they
offer any local-to-local service. EchoStar is challenging the must-carry

The company said in a press release that EchoStar VII is expected to launch
from Cape Canaveral, Fla., late this year. Early next year, EchoStar VIII is
expected to launch from Kazakhstan.