EchoStar Seeks $1B Debt Buyback


EchoStar Communications Corp. is looking to buy back about $1 billion in debt
under a new plan approved by its board of directors.

The plan calls for the Littleton, Colo.-based satellite-TV provider to buy
back from time to time debt securities for EchoStar and its subsidiary, EchoStar
DBS Corp., based on market conditions.

In the company’s earnings conference call last week, CEO Charlie Ergen said
it would seek to take advantage of the favorable market to whittle down the
company’s debt load.

"As we have moved from a user of capital to a net producer of capital, it is
important for us to get rid of some of our high-interest debt," he said.

EchoStar has already reclaimed all of its 9 1/4% senior notes due 2006, and
it recently announced that it had bought back $245 million in 9 1/8% senior
notes due in 2009.