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ALEXANDRIA, VA, December 21, 2001 – At a meeting today of the Satellite Broadcasting and Communications Association’s (SBCA) Executive Committee, the Committee, on behalf of the Association and by majority vote, endorsed the pending merger between EchoStar Communications Corporation and Hughes Electronics Corporation, parent company of DIRECTV.

  “SBCA believes that a combined EchoStar/DIRECTV would be well positioned to more effectively compete with the entrenched cable monopoly, and would help further the roll-out of local-into-local into additional markets.  Further, the combined company would have increased ability to deliver high definition television and interactive services to more consumers nationwide,” said SBCA President Andy Wright.

The Satellite Broadcasting and Communications Association of America (SBCA) is the national trade organization representing all segments of the satellite industry.  It is committed to expanding the utilization of satellite technology for the broadcast delivery of video, data, voice, interactive and broadband services.  The SBCA is composed of DBS, C-band, broadband, and other satellite service providers, content providers, equipment manufacturers, distributors, retailers, encryption vendors, and national and regional distribution companies.