Statement From Anne Sweeney, President, ABC Cable Networks Group And Disney Channel Worldwide Clarifying Statements Made By Echostar Regarding ABC Family Rates

BURBANK, Calif.– The Walt Disney Company and ABC Cable Networks Group wish to correct the misleading statements provided to the press by EchoStar regarding the fees it pays for ABC Family.

In a press release it issued January 2, EchoStar falsely claimed that Disney has sought increased fees for carriage of ABC Family on the EchoStar system. This statement, which has been repeated in other news reports, is untrue. The indisputable fact is that Disney has not sought any increase in the carriage fees beyond those agreed to by EchoStar in the contract signed in 1995.

The irony in EchoStar’s comments is that the company has benefited significantly from its relationship with Disney, which began in the mid-90s when Disney was one of the few programmers willing to support the then-fledgling satellite system. In the following years, EchoStar was able to attract customers on the strength of high-quality Disney and ESPN programming.

Anne Sweeney will hold a conference call for reporters at 12:30 PM Pacific time today. Reporters can participate by calling 877-692-2595.