Viacom and DISH Network Reach Long-Term Agreement; CBS, MTV Networks and BET Restored

NEW YORK & ENGLEWOOD, Colo.--()--March 11, 2004--Viacom (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B) and EchoStar Communications Corporation (Nasdaq:DISH) and its DISH Network today announced that they have reached a long-term, multi-channel agreement that provides for the satellite TV distribution of CBS, BET, and the MTV Networks channels previously carried by DISH Network.

"It's great to have our networks back in front of all our viewers, and to bring a new service, Nicktoons, to DISH Network subscribers," said Mel Karmazin, President and Chief Operating Officer of Viacom. "We apologize to our viewers for the disruption in their service, and want to thank them for their patience and support. We look forward to continuing to serve our viewers through DISH Network well into the future."

"This agreement with Viacom allows DISH Network to remain the lowest-cost, all digital TV provider in the country," said Charles Ergen, chairman and chief executive officer of EchoStar. "We understand that this has been a difficult few days for our customers, and we thank them for all the encouragement they have given us throughout. We also look forward to a long relationship with Viacom in which we can provide their quality channels to our viewers."

The multi-year agreement restores full service of CBS in 16 markets as well as Comedy Central, MTV, MTV2, Nickelodeon, Noggin, GAS, VH1, VH1 Classic, MTV Espanol and BET in all markets. Additionally, the agreement extends the term of the carriage for CBS HD (East and West) channels, as well as Spike TV, CMT and TV Land. DISH Network will also launch Nicktoons on its America's Top 180 package this spring.

As part of the agreement, Viacom and DISH Network have settled all litigation between the two companies.

Viacom is a leading global media company, with preeminent positions in broadcast and cable television, radio, outdoor advertising, and online. With programming that appeals to audiences in every demographic category across virtually all media, the company is a leader in the creation, promotion, and distribution of entertainment, news, sports, music, and comedy. Viacom's well-known brands include CBS, MTV, Nickelodeon, Nick at Nite, VH1, BET, Paramount Pictures, Infinity Broadcasting, Viacom Outdoor, UPN, TV Land, Comedy Central, CMT: Country Music Television, Spike TV, Showtime, Blockbuster, and Simon & Schuster. More information about Viacom and its businesses is available at www.viacom.com.

About EchoStar Communications

EchoStar Communications Corporation (Nasdaq:DISH) serves over 9 million satellite TV customers through its DISH Network(TM), and is a leading U.S. provider of advanced digital television services. DISH Network's services include hundreds of video and audio channels, Interactive TV, HDTV, sports and international programming, together with professional installation and 24-hour customer service. DISH Network is the leader in the sale of digital video recorders (DVRs). Visit EchoStar's DISH Network at (www.dishnetwork.com) or call 1-800-333-DISH (3474).

Contacts

EchoStar's DISH Network
Steve Caulk, 303-723-2010
Steve.Caulk@echostar.com
or
Marc Lumpkin, 303-723-2020
Marc.Lumpkin@echostar.com
or
Viacom
Carl D. Folta, 212-258-6352
Carl.Folta@viacom.com
or
Susan Duffy, 212-258-6722
Susan.Duffy@viacom.com

Contacts

EchoStar's DISH Network
Steve Caulk, 303-723-2010
Steve.Caulk@echostar.com
or
Marc Lumpkin, 303-723-2020
Marc.Lumpkin@echostar.com
or
Viacom
Carl D. Folta, 212-258-6352
Carl.Folta@viacom.com
or
Susan Duffy, 212-258-6722
Susan.Duffy@viacom.com