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ECHOSTAR, ASIAN TELEVISION NETWORK (ATN) AND VIEWER’S CHOICE CANADA TO BROADCAST ICC CRICKET WORLD CUP 2003 TO CANADA

February 07, 2003

 

Littleton, Colo., Feb. 7, 2003 – EchoStar Communications Corporation (NASDAQ: DISH) announced today that it has reached a joint sublicensing agreement with the Asian Television Network International Limited (ATN) and Viewer’s Choice Canada for the broadcast of the 2003 Cricket World Cup through Canadian cable and satellite television providers. EchoStar is the exclusive distributor for the International Cricket Counsel’s (ICC) Cricket World Cup 2003 via television, radio and the Internet to countries within North, Central and South America. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

ATN, a South Asian programmer in Canada, and Viewer’s Choice Canada, a pay-per-view distributor for many cable and satellite operators across Canada, have together acquired rights to distribute 25 of the 54 matches of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2003 via Canadian cable and satellite television providers. All 25 matches will be shown live from South Africa. ATN will also broadcast a 30-minute daily highlight show of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2003 on a 24-hour delay.

"EchoStar is pleased to have reached a sublicensing agreement with ATN and Viewer’s Choice Canada, allowing for the television distribution of the Cricket World Cup to cricket fans across Canada," said Michael Schwimmer, senior vice president of Programming at EchoStar. "The Cricket World Cup is an important and popular international event which is closely followed by people who immigrate from cricketing nations to the west, especially those living in Canada."

"ATN is delighted to be partnering with pioneers such as EchoStar and Viewer’s Choice Canada in bringing the 2003 World Cup Cricket to Canadians," said Shan Chandrasekar, president and CEO of ATN. "While the games will be live on pay-per-view across Canada, ATN is excited to be featuring a daily highlights show of the action."

"There are many cricket lovers in Canada, and we are thrilled to be providing Canadians with the national pay-per-view broadcast of over 20 games of the Cricket World Cup live from South Africa," said Holly Chapman, manager of Event Marketing and Programming for Viewer's Choice Canada. "And we are especially excited to be cheering on our Canadian team in this year's World Cup."

This 2003 Cricket World Cup will include the teams of Australia, Canada, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, India, West Indies, New Zealand, England, Zimbabwe, Bangladesh, Kenya, Namibia, Netherlands and host South Africa. Other broadcasters include, Rupavhini in Sri Lanka, Sky Sports in the United Kingdom, Pakistan TV in Pakistan, SABC in South Africa, BTV in Bangladesh, Sky Sports in New Zealand, Fox Sports in Australia and Sony Max in India.

EchoStar’s DISH Network will exclusively broadcast the World Cup in the United States.

EchoStar Communications Corporation (NASDAQ: DISH) and its DISH NetworkÔ is a U.S. leader in offering satellite television entertainment services to more than 8 million customers. DISH Network provides advanced digital satellite television services to the home, including hundreds of video, audio and data channels, personal video recording, HDTV, international programming, professional installation and 24-hour customer service. EchoStar is included in the Nasdaq-100 Index (NDX) and is a Fortune 500 company. Visit EchoStar's DISH Network at www.dishnetwork.com.

About Asian Television Network International Limited

Asian Television Network International Limited (ATN) is Canada’s largest South Asian Broadcaster with four digital specialty channels in operation, 24 hours a day 7 days a week. ATN has won eight digital licenses from the Canadian Radio Television and Telecommunication Commission (CRTC) for broadcasting to Canada’s multicultural communities. In 1987, ATN was the first to bring the World Cup Cricket live via satellite to Canada and has since then been an ardent supporter of the game in Canada. The viewers of ATN include thousands of cricket fans from countries such as India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, East Africa, South Africa, the UK and the West Indies, where cricket is the national sport. ATN is a publicly traded company listed on the Toronto Venture Exchange, TSX, with the symbol YTN. For more information on ATN visit

http://www.asiantelevision.com/ or telephone Carol Lynn at 905-836-6460.

About Viewer’s Choice Canada

Viewer's Choice Canada offers convenient, commercial-free, in home viewing of hit movies, live championship sporting events, concerts and many other special events on an à la carte basis across Eastern Canada. Viewer's Choice Pay-Per-View offers 46 channels of near video-on-demand programming available 24 hours a day. Viewer's Choice Canada Inc. is an Astral Media pay-per-view network (50.1%); Rogers Pay Per View Inc. (24.95%); and NetStar Communications Inc. (24.95%).

About ICC/IDI

The International Cricket Council (ICC) represents all cricket playing nations around the world. Its primary role is to administer the game and oversee its development and expansion. The ICC organizes various events each year under its banner. The premier event is the ICC World Cup which is held every four years. In addition there is the Under 19 World Cup (held every two years), the ICC Champions Trophy (every two years) and the ICC Trophy. About the 2003 World Cup of Cricket The ICC World Cup features teams from all 10 major cricket playing nations plus Kenya (which has been given International One Day status) plus the top three teams from the "associate" countries (those who do not have full One Day International status). These teams qualify through the ICC Trophy tournament. The World Cup was first held in the UK in 1975. In the ensuing years it has been held in Australia and countries on the sub continent. The 2003 World Cup of Cricket will be held in South Africa for the first time starting in February this year. The tournament will consist of 54 games.

For further information please telephone Carollynn at ATN: (905) 836–6460.

Asian Television Network International Limited.
Tel: 905-836-6460 Fax: 905-853-5212
Email: atn@AsianTelevision.com

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