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At Press Time: EchoStar Misses Subscriber Estimate

By | October 25, 2004

      An important avenue of new subscriber sales for EchoStar Communications [DISH] did not quite meet Wall Street expectations Friday. The satellite television service’s partnership with telecommunications services provider SBC Communications [SBC] was ex-pected to generate 125,000 new subscribers during the third quarter ended Sept. 30, according to projections from the investment firm Oppenheimer & Co. However, the actual number of new subscribers from the SBC-DISH marketing initiative was only 105,000.

      Thomas Eagan, a satellite and cable analyst at Oppenheimer, concluded that the results released by SBC Friday are “slightly disappointing,” indicating EchoStar may struggle to maintain its past subscriber growth rate.

      The analyst added that the weaker-than-anticipated performance of the SBC-DISH joint marketing effort reflects that demand for the bundled package of video, voice and data is less than expected and there may be difficulty in supplying the related hardware to activate the service. EchoStar reports its own third-quarter results Nov. 11.

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