Dish Network Freezes Prices7 Jan, 2008 By: John Latchem
EchoStar Communications will freeze the prices of its most popular satellite television packages until 2009, the result of an economic slowdown that saw EchoStar shares drop 5%.
To attract new customers to its Dish Network service, EchoStar is offering three months free programming to new customers and will waive activation fees, according to Reuters. The starting price of the DishDVR Advantage plan will be frozen at $39.99 per month until February 2009.
CEO Charlie Ergen said EchoStar wanted to simplify its business to give more value to the consumer.
The move comes amid industry concerns that a potential recession could weaken consumer demand for home entertainment product, intensifying competition among pay-TV operators for consumer dollars.
EchoStar has traditionally marketed its services to lower-income households, while rival DirecTV has focused more on higher-income viewers. A DirecTV spokesperson said the company has no plans for a price freeze this year.
Several cable providers have announced increases in their subscription rates to counter rising video costs.