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Ergen Presses Congress To Rethink SHVERA Changes

By | May 27, 2004

      EchoStar Communications [DISH] CEO Charles Ergen is asking Congress to rethink provisions in the Satellite Home Viewer Extension and Reauthorization Act of 2004 (SHVERA) aimed at its Dish Network direct-to-home satellite service. Specifically, Ergen wants Congress to reconsider provisions that would require the elimination of a two-dish solution to access local channels.

      In a letter to members of the House and Senate Judiciary and Commerce committees, Ergen wrote the two-dish solution has enabled EchoStar to provide local channel coverage to Dish subscribers in all 50 states. However, by forcing service onto one dish, “our options and our hopes for remaining competitive in the market and providing nationwide local service will be jeopardized,” he explained.

      Ergen said in his letter the company voluntarily could eliminate the two-dish solution by December 2008. That additional time would allow EchoStar to design, to build and to launch a new satellite to facilitate the provision of local channels. He added that only 38 of the 127 markets served today require a two-dish solution to receive all local channels.