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SBCA Files FCC Competition Report Comments

Alexandria, Va., July 23, 2004 – The Satellite Broadcasting and Communications Association (SBCA) today filed with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) comments for the FCC’s eleventh annual report to Congress on video competition. SBCA’s comments reflect the competitive status of the DBS industry in the multi-channel video marketplace and were in response to the FCC’s Notice of Inquiry released June 17, 2004.

DBS is the fastest-growing competitor in the MVPD marketplace with over 23 million subscribers in the United States, or 22 percent of television households. This growth is sustained by a number of factors including reasonable prices, excellent customer service, high quality, and a growing national footprint. The DBS industry has consistently offered program packages competitive with, if not lower than, cable prices.

“This filing provides SBCA a chance to showcase the DBS industry’s successes. In the past year DBS has launched local stations in 58 markets and surpassed the 23 million subscriber mark,” said Richard DalBello, president SBCA. “The DBS industry has tremendous momentum and this report clearly demonstrates the progress we’re making.”

In addition to satellite service providers offering a great product and customer service at a great price – they provide many consumers with what they want most – a choice when it comes to their multi-channel video service providers. Satellite often provides the ONLY medium for multi-channel video television in many rural areas.

The satellite industry has led the way in advance technological services. Since its launch, DBS has offered 100 percent digital quality programming to all its consumers forcing many competitors to catch-up to DBS’ technology by upgrading their systems. The DBS industry has also used its all-digital platform to direct further technological advancements such as high definition, or HD programming, interactive services, and personal/digital video recorders.

Beyond advanced services and HD programming packages, DBS also offers a diverse assortment of programming packages such as religious and international programming. For non-English speaking households DBS offers programming in languages including Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Urdu, Arabic and Polish­—reaching out to many ethnic groups that DBS’ competitors leave behind.

2004 marks the tenth anniversary of the DBS industry.

The Satellite Broadcasting and Communications Association 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, audio, data, music, voice, interactive, and broadband services. The SBCA is composed of DBS, broadband, satellite radio, and other satellite service providers, content providers, equipment manufacturers, distributors, retailers, encryption vendors, and national and regional distribution companies that make up the satellite services industry. Additional information can be found at www.sbca.com.