COLORADO SPRINGS — Dish Network said April 18 it has ordered a satellite from Maxar Technologies to expand high-definition broadcast services over North America.
The ES XXV satellite is expected to be ready for launch to geostationary orbit (GEO) “within the next few years,” Dish Network spokesperson Ted Wietecha said. A launch provider was not announced.
The satellite will be based on the Maxar 1300 series platform, the largest in the manufacturer’s product line with a mass of up to 6800 kilograms
Wietecha said ES XXV would also “provide greater flexibility” across its fleet of seven satellites. The company currently also leases capacity from four satellites for a broadcast service covering the United States and Puerto Rico.
The satellite comes amid a secular decline in the satellite TV industry amid a shift toward online streaming services, where Dish Network also provides services in a highly competitive market.
The company recorded 9.75 million net pay-TV subscribers at the end of 2022, comprising 7.42 million for its DISH TV satellite broadcast business and 2.33 million for its SLING TV streaming service, which was a 268,000 decline compared with the prior year.
ES XXV is also the first GEO contract Maxar has announced this year in a market that has declined amid the rise of constellations in low Earth orbit (LEO).
Maxar secured contracts for two GEO satellites in 2022 in a year that only saw 11 orders, according to Euroconsult research, a far cry from the 15-20 that used to be ordered annually.
Chris Johnson, Maxar’s senior vice president and general manager of space, said the “GEO market remains important” for the company in a statement that accompanied its announcement.
Meanwhile, the company has been gaining traction for its LEO-focused Maxar 300 series, the manufacturer’s smallest and most modular bus.
In August, Maxar said it was selected by L3Harris to build 14 missile-detection satellites based on the platform for the U.S. Space Development Agency.