EchoStar Statement on NAB Petition

Business & Entertainment Editors  
LITTLETON, Colo.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 7, 2002--EchoStar 
Communications Corporation (Nasdaq:DISH) issued the following 
statement today in response to a petition filed by the National 
Association of Broadcasters (NAB) on Friday, Jan. 4, 2002, asking the 
FCC to modify or clarify the must carry rules:  
With the recent addition of over 250 local channels to the DISH 
Network Direct Broadcast Satellite television service, EchoStar is in 
compliance with the Satellite Home Viewer Improvement Act's must carry 
requirements. EchoStar originally planned to meet those requirements 
through the construction and launch of two new satellites at a cost of 
approximately $500 million. When Lockheed Martin and Space Systems 
Loral failed to timely deliver those satellites, EchoStar implemented 
the only alternative capable of meeting its must carry obligations 
while assuring consumers in all markets uninterrupted access to a 
complete lineup of local TV broadcast channels.  
Over 100 must carry channels are now available to EchoStar 
customers without any additional equipment. Consequently, customers 
previously receiving only NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX, together with a national 
PBS channel, now also receive for no additional charge their local WB, 
UPN, PBS, and other must carry channels. Unfortunately, as a result of 
the delayed launch of the new EchoStar 7 and EchoStar 8 satellites, 
limited bandwidth renders it impossible from a practical perspective 
for all must carry channels to be included on the same satellite. 
Consequently, in order to avoid disruption of service or delays in the 
introduction of must carry channels, EchoStar is offering a free 
satellite antenna to any customer who would like to receive the 
remaining must carry channels from a second EchoStar satellite.  
By filing a petition for modification or clarification instead of 
a complaint for failure to comply with the must carry rules, the NAB 
in its most recent FCC filing effectively concedes that EchoStar has 
met its must carry obligation. Nevertheless, the NAB now asks that the 
rules be modified to impose additional obligations on EchoStar. The 
must carry statute, and the FCC must carry rules, were the result of a 
thoroughly considered process, including a long notice and comment 
period and a re-evaluation of those rules after they were issued. The 
NAB was an active and vocal participant in the entire process. In 
fact, the FCC modified and clarified certain of its rules in specific 
response to NAB demands. However, the FCC declined to modify its rules 
in other respects and left intact the right of EchoStar to implement 
its must carry compliance plan. EchoStar then relied upon those rules 
in shaping its must carry compliance program. Those efforts provide 
significant benefits to the NAB and its members in addition to the 
benefits enjoyed by consumers. No additional obligation should be read 
into the statute.  
EchoStar has acted in good faith to shape its compliance program. 
EchoStar went to the extraordinary step of discussing its 
implementation plans in advance with not only the FCC, but also 
members of Congress and the NAB. Unfortunately, the NAB's continuing 
aggressive actions show that it cares more about scoring political 
points than serving its own members or consumers. If the FCC were to 
accede to the NAB's latest tactics to modify existing rules, limited 
bandwidth would force EchoStar to entirely terminate local channels in 
a number of markets it currently serves.  
"It is ironic because our must carry compliance program should 
please the NAB and its members," said Charlie Ergen, chairman and CEO 
of EchoStar. "The NAB said it wants satellite TV providers to offer 
local channels to consumers in a greater number of markets. They have 
also said they don't want consumers to lose local channels in any 
markets we currently serve. If the pending merger of EchoStar and 
Hughes Electronics and its DIRECTV is approved, EchoStar will be able 
to provide local channels by satellite in over 100 markets with full 
must carry compliance. And we will be able to do it all from a single 
dish as the NAB has also demanded. Yet, absurdly, the NAB is against a 
merger that will provide the only way to achieve all of their 
objectives."  
NAB members have the right to use the free digital TV spectrum 
they receive from the government to compete in the pay TV market. 
EchoStar welcomes that competition not withstanding the failure of 
many NAB members to timely comply with the obligations on which 
Congress conditioned the grant and continued use of that spectrum. 
However, the NAB goes too far when it pursues its agenda at the 
expense of American consumers.  
About EchoStar   
EchoStar Communications Corporation and its DISH Network operates 
a 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 6.43 million customers. For more 
information, visit www.dishnetwork.com.  
In connection with the proposed transactions, General Motors 
Corporation ("GM"), Hughes Electronics Corporation ("Hughes") and 
EchoStar Communications Corporation ("EchoStar") intend to file 
relevant materials with the Securities and Exchange Commission, 
including one or more Registration Statement(s) on Form S-4 that 
contain a prospectus and proxy/consent solicitation statement. Because 
those documents will contain important information, holders of GM 
$1-2/3 and GM Class H common stock are urged to read them, if and when 
they become available. When filed with the SEC, they will be available 
for free at the SEC's website, www.sec.gov, and GM stockholders will 
receive information at an appropriate time on how to obtain 
transaction-related documents for free from General Motors. Such 
documents are not currently available.  
General Motors and its directors and executive officers, Hughes 
and certain of its officers, and EchoStar and certain of its executive 
officers may be deemed to be participants in GM's solicitation of 
proxies or consents from the holders of GM $1-2/3 common stock and GM 
Class H common stock in connection with the proposed transactions. 
Information regarding the participants and their interests in the 
solicitation was filed pursuant to Rule 425 with the SEC by EchoStar 
on November 1, 2001 and by each of GM and Hughes on November 16, 2001. 
Investors may obtain additional information regarding the interests of 
the participants by reading the prospectus and proxy/consent 
solicitation statement if and when it becomes available.  
This communication shall not constitute an offer to sell or the 
solicitation of an offer to buy, nor shall there be any sale of 
securities in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or 
sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under 
the securities laws of any such jurisdiction. No offering of 
securities shall be made except by means of a prospectus meeting the 
requirements of Section 10 of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended.  
Materials included in this document contain "forward-looking 
statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation 
Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements involve known and 
unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause our 
actual results to be materially different from historical results or 
from any future results expressed or implied by such forward-looking 
statements. The factors that could cause actual results of GM, Hughes, 
EchoStar, or a combined EchoStar and Hughes, to differ materially, 
many of which are beyond the control of EchoStar, Hughes or GM 
include, but are not limited to, the following: (1) the businesses of 
EchoStar and Hughes may not be integrated successfully or such 
integration may be more difficult, time-consuming or costly than 
expected; (2) expected benefits and synergies from the combination may 
not be realized within the expected time frame or at all; (3) revenues 
following the transaction may be lower than expected; (4) operating 
costs, customer loss and business disruption, including, without 
limitation, difficulties in maintaining relationships with employees, 
customers, clients or suppliers, may be greater than expected 
following the transaction; (5) generating the incremental growth in 
the subscriber base of the combined company may be more costly or 
difficult than expected; (6) the regulatory approvals required for the 
transaction may not be obtained on the terms expected or on the 
anticipated schedule; (7) the effects of legislative and regulatory 
changes; (8) an inability to obtain certain retransmission consents; 
(9) an inability to retain necessary authorizations from the FCC; (10) 
an increase in competition from cable as a result of digital cable or 
otherwise, direct broadcast satellite, other satellite system 
operators, and other providers of subscription television services; 
(11) the introduction of new technologies and competitors into the 
subscription television business; (12) changes in labor, programming, 
equipment and capital costs; (13) future acquisitions, strategic 
partnership and divestitures; (14) general business and economic 
conditions; and (15) other risks described from time to time in 
periodic reports filed by EchoStar, Hughes or GM with the Securities 
and Exchange Commission. You are urged to consider statements that 
include the words "may," "will," "would," "could," "should," 
"believes," "estimates," "projects," "potential," "expects," "plans," 
"anticipates," "intends," "continues," "forecast," "designed," "goal," 
or the negative of those words or other comparable words to be 
uncertain and forward-looking. This cautionary statement applies to 
all forward-looking statements included in this document. 
 
 
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