EchoStar Outlines Price Hikes for 2004

Jan 5, 2005  •  Post A Comment

EchoStar Communications on Tuesday outlined a series of price hikes that will raise many of the satellite operator’s most popular subscription packages by between 5 percent and 8 percent and cited higher programming fees as the reason behind the price increases.

Though Wall Street analysts were expecting a price increase-a number of cable operators have announced subscription price hikes over the past several weeks-some said that EchoStar’s price boost was steeper than anticipated.

However, Craig Moffett, an analyst at Bernstein Research, noted the increase will help EchoStar increase its average revenue per subscriber, particularly as the company deals with higher programming costs and higher costs associated with subscriber retention efforts. He also noted that even with the price hike, EchoStar remains “the low-cost option for consumers,” so he isn’t forecasting significant increases in churn rates as a result of the higher rates.

Under the new prices, which go into effect in February, the America’s Top 60 With Locals will see its monthly rate rise to $31.99 from $29.99, a 6.7 percent increase, while its America’s Top 120 With Locals package will increase 7.5 percent to $42.99 a month. The America’s Everything Pack will increase to $86.99 a month, a 5 percent increase. Packages without local channels are expected to rise as much as 8 percent.