How easy is it for Dish Network to add more HD channels? “We just launch another satellite,” the company told me when I chatted with them earlier this year.
Well, Dish launched another satellite over the weekend. This is Dish’s 15th satellite, which is targeted 119 degrees West longitude at an altitude of 22,000 miles. Never seen a satellite launch? Watch Dish’s video on the right.
The EchoStar XIV, built by Space Systems/Loral, will be used to offer more high-definition channels but the company won’t offer any specifics.
However, in the press release, Tom Cullen, Dish’s executive vice president of Sales, Marketing and Programming, said this will extend Dish’s “HD line-up to well over 200 channels.” It currently offers 160, plus access to local HD broadcasts in 152 markets.
Another 40 HD channels would definitely make Dish the nation’s king of HD. But according to Broadcasting & Cable, the new satellite also could be used to fulfill a government pledge to offer more local channels in rural markets. Read: “EchoStar Launches 15th Satellite.”
Over at TVPredictions, TV analyst Phillip Swann puts Dish at the top of HD channels. However, some of its 160 HD channels are on-demand and not 24-hour programming. Swann also mentioned that Dish CEO Charlie Ergen promised more HD channels starting next month. Read Swann’s take at “Dish Network Launches New Satellite For HD.”
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