EchoStar and AsiaSat form Joint venture to deliver DTH services in Asia

EchoStar Corporation , a leading provider of end-to-end pay TV delivery systems and a designer and manufacturer of equipment for satellite, IPTV, cable, terrestrial and consumer electronics markets, and Asia Satellite Telecommunications Company Limited (AsiaSat) has announced the formation of a joint venture for the delivery of a direct-to-home (DTH) satellite television service to Taiwan and other targeted regions in Asia.

The satellite TV service will broadcast from AsiaSat 4, providing a wide variety of audio and video channels in an all digital format distributed directly to consumer homes via a small satellite antenna and a digital set-top box.

EchoStar, bringing more than 25 years of experience in satellite television and consumer pay television operations, is leveraging its DTH operations expertise and award-winning set-top box technology to deliver superior television to Asian viewers.

AsiaSat, Asia’s premier satellite operator with 20 years of marketing and operational excellence, is the owner and operator of the AsiaSat 4 satellite with a Broadcast Satellite Service (BSS) payload that enables viewers to receive the DTH offerings using satellite antennas as small as 30 cm in diameter.

“This joint venture between AsiaSat and EchoStar makes it possible to enter the growing Asian market that seeks a popular lineup of all digital television channels at an attractive price,” said Steve Schaver, President of EchoStar International Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of EchoStar Corp. “The opportunity to partner with AsiaSat for delivery of video services creates an exciting opportunity for EchoStar as we enter the DTH market in Asia.”

“Our alliance with EchoStar for the launch of a DTH satellite TV service creates an innovative and high quality product for an increasing number of technology-aware consumers in Asia demanding a greater choice for pay television service,” said Peter Jackson, Chief Executive Officer of AsiaSat.

Under the joint venture agreement, EchoStar, a leading provider of DTH services and satellite TV equipment in the United States, Canada, Mexico and Europe, including to the world’s second largest DTH operator, is contributing its operational expertise and digital satellite TV equipment to the joint venture. AsiaSat, an award-winning market leader in Asian satellite services, is providing satellite capacity for the DTH satellite TV platform.

The service is expected to be available to consumers in the second half of 2009. Announcements on programming packages, equipment availability and targeted territories will be made in the coming months.

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