Dish adds a new bird, loses an old bird


Bouncing back from the failure of its previous satellite launch (3/18/08 TVBR #54), Dish Network celebrated the successful launch of the EchoStar XI satellite by Sea Launch in the Pacific. That will allow the satellite TV company to deliver more channels to its customers, including more HD channels. Dish also reported the loss of one of its oldest satellites, EchoStar 2, which was primarily used as a backup.

Here is what Dish Network said in an SEC filing about the two events:

“On July 15, 2008, our EchoStar 11 satellite was successfully launched into geosynchronous transfer orbit. Following in-orbit testing, EchoStar 11 will be located at the 110 degree orbital location, where it will provide additional high-powered capacity to support expansion of our programming services, including high definition programming.

On July 14, 2008, our EchoStar 2 satellite experienced a substantial failure that appears to have rendered the satellite a total loss. EchoStar 2 had been operating from the 148 degree orbital location primarily as a back-up satellite, but had provided local network channel service to Alaska and six other small markets. All programming and other services previously broadcast from EchoStar 2 were restored to Echostar 1, the primary satellite at the 148 degree location, within several hours after the failure. EchoStar 2, which was launched in September 1996, had a book value of approximately $6.4 million as of June 30, 2008.”