BURBANK AND DENVER – April 4, 2002 – The Walt Disney Company and EchoStar Communications Corporation have reached a comprehensive multi-year agreement that ensures EchoStar’s carriage of ABC Family and ESPN Classic on EchoStar’s DISH Network, announced Robert A. Iger, president of The Walt Disney Company, and Charlie Ergen, chairman and CEO of EchoStar Communications Corporation.
The agreement provides for the long-term carriage of ABC Family and calls for EchoStar to restore ESPN Classic to its prior level of service on DISH Network by mid-April. The agreement also resolves the legal proceedings between the two companies regarding ABC Family. Details of the agreement were not disclosed.
“We’re very pleased to have reached an agreement that both companies find highly satisfactory and that provides tremendous value for Dish subscribers through the quality family entertainment and sports programming of ABC Family and ESPN Classic for years to come,” Iger said.
“Echostar has traditionally carried all of Disney’s and ESPN’s high quality programming services and we are pleased to continue carrying ABC Family based on its current strong programming line-up and well developed long-term plans to grow into an even more compelling and high-quality family entertainment programming service,” Ergen said. “Now that we have settled our differences with Disney, we look forward to continuing to carry ABC Family, ESPN Classic, and all the other Disney and ESPN services.”
Concurrently with the settlement of the ABC Family matter, Echostar and ABC have settled their dispute over the Satellite Home Viewer Act and distant network channel transmission. That litigation, pending in Federal Court in Florida, will be dismissed between EchoStar and ABC.
About The Walt Disney Company
The Walt Disney Company is a diversified, international entertainment and media company whose operations include theme parks and resorts, filmed entertainment including motion pictures and television shows, home video products, records, consumer products, a cruise line, radio and television stations, broadcast and cable networks, Internet offerings, publishing activities and professional sports enterprises. Disney owns ABC, Inc.
About EchoStar and DISH Network
DISH Network is a trademark of EchoStar Communications Corporation. DISH Network is EchoStar’s state-of-the-art direct broadcast satellite TV system that is capable of offering over 500 channels of digital video and CD-quality audio programming, as well as advanced satellite TV receiver hardware and installation. EchoStar is included in the Nasdaq-100 Index (NDX). DISH Network currently serves over 7 million customers. For more information, visit ww.dishnetwork.com.