In the high-stakes game of direct broadcast a Colorado based company made others stand up and take notice. In October, 1997, EchoStar Communications, based in Englewood, Colorado, launched its newest satellite from Cape Canaveral, the third in as many years. Additionally, EchoStar has added an additional 73,000 square foot expansion to its Cheyenne facility.
The expansion allows EchoStar Communications to control its satellites from the Cheyenne facility.
In November 1994, EchoStar Communications Corporations began excavation for its orginal $40 million satellite uplink center. Under the supervision of general contractor, PCL Construction Services, Inc., earth movers from James E. Simons Construction Company, of Cheyenne, began clearing the 50- acre site in LEADS’ Cheyenne Business Parkway. Estimated cost of the 60,000 square foot building is $10 million.
The selection of Cheyenne as the site for the multi-million dollar project, announced August 30, 1994, is attributed to Wyoming’s enticing tax structure, favorable operating costs, availability of an extensive fiber-optic service, and an ideal site in the Cheyenne Business Parkway. Upon completion of the building, the company installed approximately $30 million of highly technical satellite communications equipment, digital television, CD quality audio and data services provided by many of the worlds leading manufacturers.
To expand its leading market position in the manufacture and sale of satellite systems in the United States, EchoStar Communications Corporation developed a complete state-of-the-art direct broadcast satellite system, part of which includes the aforementioned satellite uplink center. The EchoStar DBS system was operational in the fall of 1995 with the launch of the first of two EchoStar satellites. Over 100 channels of digital video, 250 channels of digital audio programming and data services are delivered direct to homes, businesses and schools throughout the continental United States by the EchoStar DBS system. EchoStar DBS system subscribers receive a variety of programming using a low cost 18-inch satellite antenna and digital satellite receiver available through EchoStar’s approximately 5,000 dealer network.
EchoStar selected Engineering and Technical Services, Inc. (ETS) and TIW Services, Inc. (TIW) to provide all satellite earth station equipment for EchoStar’s Direct Broadcast Satellite Uplink Center in Cheyenne. EchoStar Communications Corporation is the holding company for the EchoStar Group of Companies. Over the past 16 years, EchoStar has become the leading manufacturer and distributor of satellite equipment with revenues of $221 million in 1993. EchoStar delivers a wide range of direct-to- home satellite television (DTH) products, and other services to customers throughout the world. The Group includes Echosphere Corporation, which is focused on North American satellite equipment distribution, sales, service and technical support; and EchoStar International Corporation, headquartered in Singapore and the Netherlands, with eight sales and service locations around the world.