EchoStar Inks Satellite Capacity Deal with ExpressVu

EchoStar has traveled north of the border in its search for new satellite resources.

In a Securities and Exchange Commission filing released this week, EchoStar said it entered into an agreement with Canada's Bell ExpressVu that provides, among other things, access to 16 transponders on the future Nimiq 5 satellite. That bird, which is set for launch in the second half of 2009, will be located at the 72.7-degree orbital location, stated the filing.

Bell ExpressVu has rights for all of the capacity on the Nimiq 5 satellite through an agreement with Telesat Canada. Once EchoStar gains access to the 16 transponders through its Bell ExpressVu deal, the capacity is expected to support DISH Network services.

Also as part of the deal, a subsidiary of EchoStar entered into a set-top box pricing agreement with Bell ExpressVu. The move provides pricing on set-top boxes and related equipment that reflects a material decrease from prices that Bell ExpressVu currently pays, stated the SEC filing.

EchoStar said it reached the agreements with Bell ExpressVu on March 11.