EchoStar Corporation is an American company, a worldwide provider of satellite communication solutions through its Hughes Network Systems and EchoStar Satellite Services business segments. It is the owner and operator of the satellite fleet for closely affiliated DISH.
Prior to the completion of a transaction with DISH on March 1, 2017, the company also designed and manufactured set-top boxes for DISH, Bell TV in Canada, and to receive the Freeview broadcasts in the United Kingdom. It also owned Sling Media, which designs and builds the Slingbox TV streaming device. Prior to 2008, it operated the Dish Network service brand, which was spun off as DISH on January 1, 2008.
EchoStar is the second-largest satellite-TV service provider in the US, with more than 12.7 million customers.
EchoStar was originally formed in 1980 by its chairman Charles Ergen as a distributor of C band TV systems. In 1987, it applied for a direct broadcast satellite (DBS) license with the Federal Communications Commission and was granted access to orbital slot 119° west longitude in 1992.
On December 28, 1995, the firm successfully launched its first satellite, EchoStar I. On March 4, 1996, it established the Dish Network brand name to market its home satellite TV system.
In 1998, EchoStar purchased the broadcasting assets of a satellite broadcasting joint venture of News Corporation's ASkyB and MCI Worldcom. With this purchase the firm obtained 28 of the 32 transponder licenses in the 110° W orbital slot, more than doubling existing CONUS broadcasting capacity at a value of $682.5 million. The acquisition inspired the company to introduce a multi-satellite system called DISH 500, theoretically capable of receiving more than 500 channels on one dish.
"Legacy" represent the 950 to 1450 MHz frequencies used to deliver the signal throughout the home; the signal is broadcast to the home on the Ku band from satellite (12.2-12.7 GHz). Ku frequencies will not work on home wiring, the signal is downconverted to the intermediate frequency (IF) of 950-1450 MHz at the dish antenna. Newer technology (DishPro) also uses 1650-2150 MHz in addition to 950-1450.
On January 2, 2008, the Dish Network business was demerged from the technology and infrastructure side of the business. A split in the shares created two companies, DISH Network Corporation which consists mainly of the DISH Network business, and EchoStar Corporation which retains ownership of the technology side including the satellites, Sling Media, and the set-top box development arm. DISH Network completed its distribution to Echostar of its digital set-top box business, certain infrastructure, and other assets and related liabilities, including certain of their satellites, uplink and satellite transmission assets, and real estate (the "Spin-off"). Since the Spin-off, EchoStar and DISH Network have operated as separate publicly-traded companies. However, as a result of the Satellite and Tracking Stock Transaction, DISH Network owns shares of EchoStar and their subsidiary's preferred tracking stock representing an aggregate 80.0% economic interest in the residential retail satellite broadband business of their Hughes segment. In addition, a substantial majority of the voting power of the shares of DISH Network and EchoStar is owned beneficially by Charles W. Ergen, Chairman, and by certain trusts established by Mr. Ergen for the benefit of his family.
In March 2017, after two delays caused by weather worries, SpaceX delivered EchoStar XXIII into orbit. The satellite was launched on a Falcon 9 Rocket, it is in high orbit – approx. 22,000 miles above earth’s surface - and provides broadcast services for Brazil. Because EchoStar XXIII is a particularly heavy satellite, this mission did not include a rocket landing post-takeoff, as it would require too much fuel. This was the first time a purely commercial satellite was launched from a pad that once served as the base for Apollo moon trips and space shuttle flights.
In December 2001 EchoStar threatened to stop broadcasting ABC Family and not long after dropped the ESPN Classic channel. Disney, which had recently acquired ABC Family, then sued to block EchoStar from dropping the channel. EchoStar argued that since the channel had changed owners it had the right to stop carrying it. The dispute was settled five months later when EchoStar agreed to restore ESPN Classic and continue broadcasting ABC Family.
In January 2004, EchoStar sued Viacom Inc, for illegally forcing them to carry certain cable networks in exchange for the right to retransmit CBS television stations in 16 local markets. The dispute was settled two months later.
On June 3, 2009, satellite service provider EchoStar was found by Marshall, Texas, federal district court judge David Folsom to be in contempt of a permanent injunction against using some of TiVo's technology and was required to pay the DVR pioneer $103.1 million plus interest.
On May 3, 2011, Dish Network Corporation and EchoStar Corporation agreed to pay TiVo Inc. $500 million to settle a dispute over the use of some of TiVo’s technology.
Since EchoStar frequently moves satellites among its many orbiting slots this list is not immediately accurate. Refer to Lyngsat.com for detailed satellite information.
|Satellite||Location||Launch date||Launcher||Satellite bus||Usage / notes|
|EchoStar I||77°W||28 December 1995||Long March 2E||Lockheed Martin AS-7000||Can carry a limited number of services on odd numbered transponders. EchoStar is not licensed to serve CONUS customers in the United States from this location but may transmit local stations. Was seen operating at 148.0W in May 2004, was then seen at 77.2W until it was retired in mid-2013. Now in early 2018 Echo I started a move to a graveyard orbit. This is a position about 200 miles above the 22,300-mile geosynchronous orbit.|
|EchoStar II||148°W||10 September 1996||Ariane 4||AS-7000||On 14 July 2008, EchoStar reported to the SEC that EchoStar II "experienced a substantial failure that appears to have rendered the satellite a total loss". Retired in mid-2008.|
|EchoStar III||61.5°W||5 October 1997||Atlas II||A2100AX||Satellite has experienced many failures causing limited use; it will be replaced in the near future.[when?] Retired around mid-2010. Deorbited with some difficulty by September 6, 2017.|
|8 May 1998||Proton-K||A2100AX||Positioned in a Mexican-controlled orbital slot to serve customers of Dish Mexico. Seen on an inclined orbit of 1.0 Deg in 2005. Operated odd numbered transponders sporadically as reserve up until May 2016.|
|EchoStar V||148°W||23 September 1999||Atlas II||SSL FS-1300||Replaced at 129° by Ciel 2 to serve national HD and local HD/SD stations. Echostar V was later[when?] shut down and emergency deorbited.|
|EchoStar VI / Bermudasat 1||73°W||14 July 2000||Atlas II||FS-1300||Moved to Bermuda-owned slot at 96°W in April 2013, leased to Bermuda’s telecommunication company and renamed Bermudasat 1. Previously seen in Aug 2005 at 110.0W. Stopped transmitting around April 2006. Seen again at 72.7W still transmitting for Dish Network in August 2008 until October 2009.|
|EchoStar VII||119°W||21 February 2002||Atlas III||A2100AX||Seen at 119.0W in Apr 2004, last seen functioning in that spot Apr 2010.|
|EchoStar VIII||77°W||21 August 2002||Proton-K||FS-1300||Seen at 110.0W in Apr 2004 and was seen there until Aug 2008. Started transmitting from 77.0W in a limited capacity December 2008, most transponders were functional by mid to late 2009. Last seen functioning May 2013. Deorbited in May 2017.|
|EchoStar IX / Galaxy 23||121°W||7 August 2003||Zenit-3SL||FS-1300||Capacity on this Ku-band satellite is available for lease on a transponder basis. The satellite is jointly owned by EchoStar and Intelsat: Ku band and Ka band payloads owned by EchoStar, C band payload owned by Intelsat and designated Galaxy 23.
|EchoStar X||110°W||15 February 2006||Zenit-3SL||A2100AX||First seen functioning May 2016 in the 110.0W slot and is still transmitting from the same location as of Oct 2016.|
|EchoStar XI||110°W||16 July 2008||Zenit-3SL||FS-1300|
|Echostar XII / Rainbow 1||61.5°W||17 July 2003||Atlas V||A2100||Rainbow 1 was launched by Cablevision/Rainbow DBS and used for the Voom DBS service at 61.5°W until the satellite and transponder licenses were sold to EchoStar in 2005. DISH Network renamed it EchoStar 12 in March 2006.|
|CMBStar||n/a||Never launched||—||LS-1300||Satellite was planned to be deployed over China; it never launched. Its bus was placed in storage and reused for EchoStar XXIII.|
|EchoStar XIV||119°W||20 March 2010||Proton-M||LS-1300||Designed to provide more spotbeams for local channels.|
|EchoStar XV||61.5°W||10 July 2010||Proton-M||LS-1300|
|EchoStar XVI||61.5°W||20 November 2012||Proton-M||FS-1300||Provides additional capacity at the 61.5° orbital location. It holds an archival disc called The Last Pictures, which is micro-etched with 100 images of modern human history and made of ultra-archival materials meant to last for billions of years into the future as a time capsule.|
|EchoStar XVII||107°W||5 July 2012||Ariane 5||LS-1300||Provides 100Gbit/s of capacity for HughesNet Gen4 product, offering two-way satellite Internet speeds of up to 15 Mbit/s and data allowances up to 40 Gb.|
|EchoStar XVIII||61.5°W (Spare)||18 June 2016||Ariane 5||SSL 1300||DISH service in the contiguous United States, Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and Cuba. High-power Ku-band multi-spot beam.|
|EchoStar XIX||97.1°W||18 December 2016||Atlas V||SSL 1300||High-speed Internet services for HughesNet in North America|
|EchoStar XXI||10.25° E||8 June 2017||Proton-M||SSL 1300||Mobile broadband services over Europe with an S-band payload for EchoStar Mobile Ltd (formerly known as TerreStar 2)|
|EchoStar XXIII||44.9°W (operational), 86.4°W (testing)||16 March 2017||Falcon 9||SSL 1300||Direct-to-home television broadcast services over Brazil. Based on a spare platform from the cancelled CMBStar program.|
|EchoStar 105 / SES-11||105°W||11 October 2017||Falcon 9||E3000||Will provide Ku-Band transponder capacity, with coverage of the 50 U.S. states, the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean, replacing AMC-15. Owned by SES of Luxembourg.|