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Stallions Satellite and Antenna - TV Reception Solutions

December 28, 2001

EchoStar, DirecTV Add TV Stations

LITTLETON, Colo. (AP) - Satellite-television providers EchoStar Communications Corp. and DirecTV are adding several local channels to their lineups.

Pay-television providers must carry every channel in markets where they provide local channels by Tuesday.

EchoStar said its Dish Network would begin offering UPN, WB, PBS, and other channels in the same package in which it offers ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX in each of the 36 markets where it offers local programming.

The price for the package will be $5.99 per month.

The "must carry" provision in the 1996 Satellite Home Viewers Improvement Act requires EchoStar and DirecTV to pick up more than 200 local channels across the nation, taking up a large portion of the companies' satellite-transmission capacity.

EchoStar contends that its proposed merger with DirecTV's parent, Hughes Electronics, would help both companies use their transmission capacity more efficiently by beaming down one signal instead of two.

The merged company could use the extra capacity to offer local channels in more markets.

DirecTV added most of the new channels to its service in 41 local markets Thursday.

Comments from Ben Stallions:

With the DBS satellite providers now carrying most of the local channels in the 36 major cities that they have local-to-local service in, people that live in very weak signal areas will now be able to watch not only their local major networks, but the independent stations as well. However, many people live in areas where their local stations are not carried on satellite. Also, most people live in areas where with a traditional rooftop TV antenna they could receive all of their local TV stations (including the high definition channels) without having to pay $6.00 a month.

There are other advantages to having a rooftop antenna, such as being able to watch a local channel in one room and a satellite channel in another room without needing an addtional satellite receiver...and having to pay an additional $5.00 per month on top of the $5.99 local stations subscription fee.

If you have questions regarding the reception of your TV stations and what type of antenna system would work for your area, contact us and we will be happy to assist you.

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