View:


<PAGE>

     As filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on June 7, 1996

                                                 Registration No. 33-___________

- --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
- --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                     SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
                          Washington, D.C.  20549
                            ------------------
                                 FORM S-8
                            ------------------
            REGISTRATION STATEMENT UNDER THE SECURITIES ACT OF 1933

                    ECHOSTAR COMMUNICATIONS CORPORATION
            (Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

             NEVADA                                    88-03369997
   (State or other jurisdiction                     (I.R.S. Employer
 of incorporation or organization                  Identification No.)

                         90 Inverness Circle East
                         Englewood, Colorado 80112
                              (303) 799-8222
                 (Address of principal executive offices)

                            ------------------

                   EchoStar Communications Corporation
               1995 Nonemployee Director Stock Option Plan
                           (Full Title of Plan)

                            DAVID K. MOSKOWITZ
           SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, GENERAL COUNSEL AND SECRETARY
                    ECHOSTAR COMMUNICATIONS CORPORATION
                         90 INVERNESS CIRCLE EAST
                         ENGLEWOOD, COLORADO 80112
                            (303) 799-8222 EXT. 5323

                   (Name, address, including zip code, and
         telephone number, including area code, of agent for service)

                            ------------------

        Approximate date of commencement of proposed sale to the public:
   As soon as practicable after this Registration Statement becomes effective.

                         CALCULATION OF REGISTRATION FEE

<TABLE>
<CAPTION>
<S>                               <C>               <C>         <C>            <C>
- ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
- ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                 Proposed     Proposed
                                                 maximum      maximum
                                Amount           offering     aggregate       Amount of
Title of                        to be            price        offering        registration
securities to be registered     registered       per share    price (1)       fee
- ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Class A Common Stock,           30,000 shares    $33.50(1)    $1,005,000.00   $346.55
$0.01 par value
- ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
- ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
</TABLE>

(1)  This calculation is made solely for the purpose of determining the amount
     of the registration fee and, in accordance with Rule 457(h) under the
     Securities Act of 1933, is based upon the average of the high and low
     prices of the Class A Common Stock as quoted in Nasdaq as of June 7, 1996.

- --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
- --------------------------------------------------------------------------------


<PAGE>

                                     PART II

                 INFORMATION REQUIRED IN REGISTRATION STATEMENT


Item 3.   Incorporation of Certain Documents by Reference

     The Company's Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the fiscal quarter ended 
March 31, 1996, and the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal 
year ended December 31, 1995 (Commission File No. 0-26176) are hereby 
incorporated in this Registration Statement by reference.  In addition, all 
documents filed by the Company with the Commission pursuant to Sections 
13(a), 13(c), 14 and 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended 
(the "Exchange Act"), subsequent to the date of this Registration Statement 
and prior to the filing of a Post-Effective Amendment to the Registration 
Statement indicating that all securities offered under the Registration 
Statement have been sold, or deregistering all securities then remaining 
unsold, shall be deemed to be incorporated in this Registration Statement by 
reference and to be a part hereof from the date of filing such documents.  
The description of the Company's Class A Common Stock contained in the 
Company's Registration Statement on Form 8-A, declared effective June 20, 
1995, pursuant to Section 12 of the Exchange Act is also incorporated herein 
by this reference.

Item 5.   Interests of Named Experts and Counsel

     The Company's combined and consolidated financial statements dated as of 
December 31, 1994 and 1995, and for each of the three years in the period 
ended December 31, 1995, included in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K 
for the fiscal year ended December 31, 1995, Commission File No. 0-26176, 
have been audited by Arthur Andersen LLP, independent public accountants, as 
indicated in their reports with respect thereto, and are incorporated herein 
in reliance upon the authority of said firm as experts in accounting and 
auditing.

Item 6.   Indemnification of Directors and Officers

     The Articles of Incorporation of the Company provide for indemnification 
of the officers and directors of the Company to the fullest extent permitted 
by Section 78.751 of the Nevada General Corporation Law.  The Registrant 
maintains certain insurance policies for its directors and officers against 
any loss arising from any claim asserted against them in such capacities, 
subject to certain exclusions.


                                      2


<PAGE>

Item 8.   Exhibits

     4.1  Specimen Share Certificate.*

     4.2  Articles of Incorporation of the Company.*

     4.3  Bylaws of the Company.*

     4.4  1995 Nonemployee Director Stock Option Plan

     5.1  Opinion and Consent of David K. Moskowitz.

     23.1 Consent of David K. Moskowitz.  See Exhibit 5.1.

     23.2 Consent of Arthur Andersen LLP.

     24   Powers of Attorney


Item 9.   Undertakings

     A.   The undersigned Registrant hereby undertakes:  (1) to file, during 
any period in which offers or sales are being made, a post-effective 
amendment to this Registration Statement to include any material information 
with respect to the plan of distribution not previously disclosed in the 
Registration Statement or any material change to such information in the 
Registration Statement; (2) that for the purpose of determining any liability 
under the Securities Act of 1933 each such post-effective amendment shall be 
deemed to be a new Registration Statement relating to the securities offered 
therein, and the offering of such securities at the time shall be deemed to 
be the initial bona fide offering thereof; and (3) to remove from 
registration by means of a post-effective amendment any of the securities 
being registered which remain unsold at the termination of the offering.

     B.   The undersigned Registrant hereby undertakes that, for purposes of 
determining any liability under the Securities Act of 1933, each filing of 
the Registrant's annual report pursuant to Section 13(a) or Section 15(d) of 
the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 that is incorporated by reference in the 
Registration Statement shall be deemed to be a new Registration Statement 
relating to the securities offered therein, and the offering of such 
securities at that time shall be deemed to be the initial bona fide offering 
thereof.

     C.   Insofar as indemnification for liabilities arising under the 
Securities Act of 1933 may be permitted to directors, officers and 
controlling persons of the Registrant pursuant to the 

____________________

*Incorporated by reference to the Company's Registration Statement on Form 
 S-1, Registration Number 33-91276.


                                      3


<PAGE>

foregoing provisions, or otherwise, the Registrant has been advised that in 
the opinion of the Securities and Exchange Commission such indemnification is 
against public policy as expressed in the Act and is, therefore, 
unenforceable.  In the event that a claim for indemnification against such 
liabilities (other than the payment by the Registrant of expenses incurred or 
paid by a director, officer or controlling person of the Registrant in the 
successful defense of any action, suit or proceeding) is asserted by such 
director, officer or controlling person in connection with the securities 
being registered, the Registrant will, unless in the opinion of its counsel 
the matter has been settled by controlling precedent, submit to a court of 
appropriate jurisdiction the question whether such indemnification by it is 
against public policy as expressed in the Act and will be governed by the 
final adjudication of such issue.














                                      4


<PAGE>

                                   SIGNATURES

     Pursuant to the requirements of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, 
the Registrant certifies that it has reasonable grounds to believe that it 
meets all of the requirements for filing on Form S-8 and has duly caused this 
Registration Statement to be signed on its behalf by the undersigned, 
thereunto duly authorized, in the City of Englewood, State of Colorado, on 
June 7, 1996.

                                    ECHOSTAR COMMUNICATIONS CORPORATION


                               By: /s/ DAVID K. MOSKOWITZ
                                   -------------------------------------
                                   David K. Moskowitz
                                   Senior Vice President, General Counsel and
                                   Secretary

     Pursuant to the requirements of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, 
this Registration Statement has been signed by the following persons in the 
capacities and on the date indicated.


<TABLE>
<CAPTION>
       SIGNATURE                                 TITLE                            DATE
       ---------                                 -----                            ----
<S>                                         <C>                                 <C>

*
- -------------------------------   President, Chief Executive Officer,        June 7, 1996
Charles W. Ergen                  Chairman and Director
                                  (Principal Executive Officer)

*
- -------------------------------   Vice President and Chief Financial         June 7, 1996
Steven B. Schaver                 Officer
                                  (Principal Financial Officer)

*
- -------------------------------   Vice President, Treasurer and              June 7, 1996
 J. Allen Fears                   Controller
                                  (Principal Accounting Officer)

*
- -------------------------------   Director                                   June 7, 1996
R. Scott Zimmer

*
- -------------------------------   Director                                   June 7, 1996
James DeFranco

*
- -------------------------------   Director                                   June 7, 1996
Raymond L. Friedlob

*
- -------------------------------   Director                                   June 7, 1996
Alan M. Angelich


*    By : /S/ J. ALLEN FEARS
          -------------------------------
           J. Allen Fears
           Attorney-in-Fact
</TABLE>




                                      5


<PAGE>

                                EXHIBIT INDEX

EXHIBIT
NUMBER              EXHIBIT DESCRIPTION

4.1                 Specimen Share Certificate.*

4.2                 Articles of Incorporation of the Company.*

4.3                 Bylaws of the Company.*

4.4                 1995 Nonemployee Director Stock Option Plan

5.1                 Opinion and Consent of David K. Moskowitz.

23.1                Consent of David K. Moskowitz.  See Exhibit 5.1.

23.2                Consent of Arthur Andersen LLP.

24                  Powers of Attorney

______________________

*Incorporated by reference to the Company's Registration Statement on Form 
 S-1, Registration Number 33-91276.






<PAGE>

                                                                     EXHIBIT 4.4
                      ECHOSTAR COMMUNICATIONS CORPORATION 
                   1995 NONEMPLOYEE DIRECTOR STOCK OPTION PLAN


I.   Purpose

          The EchoStar Communications Corporation Nonemployee Director Stock
Option Plan (the "Plan") provides for the grant of Stock Options to Nonemployee
Directors of EchoStar Communications Corporation (the "Company") in order to
advance the interests of the Company through the motivation, attraction and
retention of its Nonemployee Directors.

II.  Non-Incentive Stock Options

          The Stock Options granted under the Plan shall be nonstatutory stock
options ("NSOs") which are intended to be options that do not qualify as
"incentive stock options" under Section 422 of the Internal Revenue Code of
1986, as amended (the "Code").

III. Administration

     A.   COMMITTEE.  The Plan shall be administered by the Board of Directors
          of the Company (the "Board") or by a committee of two or more
          directors (the "Committee").  The Committee or the Board, as the case
          may be, shall have full authority to administer the Plan, including
          authority to interpret and construe any provision of the Plan and any
          Stock Option granted thereunder, and to adopt such rules and
          regulations for administering the Plan as it may deem necessary in
          order to comply
 with the requirements of the Code or in order to
          conform to any regulations or to any change in any law or regulation
          applicable thereto.  The Board of Directors may reserve to itself any
          of the authority granted to the Committee as set forth herein, and it
          may perform and discharge all of the functions and responsibilities of
          the Committee at any time that a duly constituted Committee is not
          appointed and serving.  All references in this Plan to the "Committee"
          shall be deemed to refer to the Board of Directors whenever the Board
          is discharging the powers and responsibilities of the Committee.

     B.   ACTIONS OF COMMITTEE.  All actions taken and all interpretations and
          determinations made by the Committee in good faith (including
          determinations of Fair Market Value) shall be final and binding upon
          all Participants, the Company and all other interested persons.  No
          member of the Committee shall be personally liable for any action,
          determination or interpretation made in good faith with respect to the
          Plan, and all members of the Committee shall, in addition to their
          rights as directors, be fully protected by the Company with respect to
          any such action, determination or interpretation.



                                      1



<PAGE>

IV.  Definitions

     A.   "STOCK OPTION."  A Stock Option is the right granted under the Plan 
          to a Nonemployee Director to purchase, at such time or times and at 
          such price or prices ("Option Price") as are determined pursuant to 
          the Plan, the number of shares of Common Stock set forth in the Plan.

     B.   "COMMON STOCK."  A share of Common Stock means a share of authorized
          but unissued or reacquired Class A Common Stock (par value $.01 per
          share) of the Company.

     C.   "FAIR MARKET VALUE."  If the Common Stock is not traded publicly, the
          Fair Market Value of a share of Common Stock on any date shall be
          determined, in good faith, by the Board or the Committee after such
          consultation with outside legal, accounting and other experts as the
          Board or the Committee may deem advisable, and the Board or the
          Committee shall maintain a written record of its method of determining
          such value.  If the Common Stock is traded publicly, the Fair Market
          Value of a share of Common Stock on any date shall be the average of
          the representative closing bid and asked prices, as quoted by the
          National Association of Securities Dealers through NASDAQ (its
          automated system for reporting quotes), for the date in question or,
          if the Common Stock is listed on the NASDAQ National Market System or
          is listed on a nationals stock exchange, the officially quoted closing
          price on NASDAQ or such exchange, as the case may be, on the date in
          question.

     D.   "NONEMPLOYEE DIRECTOR."  A Nonemployee Director is a director of the
          Company who is not also an employee of the Company.

     E.   "PARTICIPANT."  A participant is a Nonemployee Director to whom a
          Stock Option is granted.

V.   Option Grants

     A.   NUMBER OF SHARES.  Upon the initial election or appointment of a
          Nonemployee Director to the Company's Board of Directors, the
          Nonemployee Director shall be granted Stock Options to purchase one
          thousand (1,000) shares of Common Stock (subject to adjustment
          pursuant to Section VI.B. hereof) effective as of the date such person
          is elected or appointed to the Board of Directors.  

     B.   PRICE.  The purchase price per share of Common Stock for the shares
          to be purchased pursuant to the exercise of any Stock Option shall be
          100% of the Fair Market Value of a share of Common Stock on the date
          on which the Nonemployee Director receiving the Stock Option is
          elected, appointed or reelected to the Board of Directors, as the case
          may be.



                                      2



<PAGE>

     C.   TERMS.  Each Stock Option shall be evidence by a written agreement
          ("Option Agreement") containing such terms and provisions as the
          Committee may determine, subject to the provisions of the Plan.

VI.  Shares of Common Stock Subject to the Plan

     A.   MAXIMUM NUMBER.  The maximum aggregate number of shares of Common
          Stock that may be made subject to Stock Options shall be 30,000
          authorized but unissued shares.  If any shares of Common Stock subject
          to Stock Options are not purchased or otherwise paid for before such
          Stock Options expire, such shares may again be made subject to Stock
          Options.

     B.   CAPITAL CHANGES.  In the event any changes are made to the shares of
          Common Stock (whether by reason or merger, consolidation,
          reorganization, recapitalization, stock dividend in excess of ten
          percent (10%) at any single time, stock split, combination of shares,
          exchange of shares, change in corporate structure or otherwise),
          appropriate adjustments shall be made in: (i) the number of shares of
          Common Stock theretofore made subject to Stock Options, and in the
          purchase price of said shares; and (ii) the aggregate number of shares
          which may be made subject to Stock Options.  If any of the foregoing
          adjustments shall result in a fractional share, the fraction shall be
          disregarded, and the Company shall have no obligation to make any cash
          or other payment with respect to such a fractional share.

VII. Exercise of Stock Options

     A.   TIME OF EXERCISE.  Subject to the provisions of the Plan, the
          Committee, in its discretion, shall determine the time when a Stock
          Option, or a portion of a Stock Option, shall become exercisable, and
          the time when a Stock Option, or a portion of a Stock Option, shall
          expire.  Such time or times shall be set forth in the Option Agreement
          evidencing such Stock Option.  A Stock Option shall expire, to the
          extent not exercised, no later than five years after the date on which
          it was granted.  The Committee may accelerate the vesting of any
          Participant's Stock Option by giving written notice to the
          Participant.  Upon receipt of such notice, the Participant and the
          Company shall amend the Option Agreement to reflect the new vesting
          schedule.  The acceleration of the exercise period of a Stock Option
          shall not affect the expiration date of that Stock Option.

     B.   SIX-MONTH HOLDING PERIOD.  The shares of Common Stock issued upon the
          exercise of a Stock Option may not be sold or otherwise disposed of
          within six months after the date of the grant of the Stock Option.

     C.   EXCHANGE OF OUTSTANDING STOCK.  The Committee, in its sole discretion,
          may permit a Participant to surrender to the Company shares of Common
          Stock previously acquired by the Participant as part or full payment
          for the 



                                      3



<PAGE>

          exercise of a Stock Option.  Such surrendered shares shall be
          valued at their Fair Market Value on the date of exercise.

     D.   USE OF PROMISSORY NOTE.  The Committee may, in its sole discretion,
          impose terms and conditions, including conditions relating to the
          manner and timing of payments, on the exercise of Stock Options.  Such
          terms and conditions may include, but are not limited to, permitting a
          Participant to deliver to the Company his promissory note as full or
          partial payment for the exercise of a Stock Option.

     E.   STOCK RESTRICTION AGREEMENT.  The Committee may provide that shares of
          Common Stock issuable upon the exercise of a Stock Option shall, under
          certain conditions, be subject to restrictions whereby the Company has
          a right of first refusal with respect to such shares or a right or
          obligation to repurchase all or a portion of such shares, which
          restrictions may survive a Participant's term as a director of the
          Company.  The acceleration of time or times at which a Stock Option
          becomes exercisable may be conditioned upon the Participant's
          agreement to such restrictions.

     F.   TERMINATION OF DIRECTOR STATUS BEFORE EXERCISE.  If a Participant's
          term as a director of the Company shall terminate for any reason other
          than the Participant's disability, any Stock Option then held by the
          Participant, to the extent then exercisable under the applicable
          Option Agreement(s), shall remain exercisable after the termination of
          his director status for a period of three months (but in no event
          beyond five years from the date of grant of the Stock Option).  If the
          Participant's director status is terminated because the Participant is
          disabled within the meaning of Section 22(e)(3) of the Code, any Stock
          Option then held by the Participant, to the extent then exercisable
          under the applicable Option Agreement(s), shall remain exercisable
          after the termination of his employment for a period of twelve months
          (but in no event beyond five years from the date of grant of the Stock
          Option).  If the Stock Option is not exercised during the applicable
          period, it shall be deemed to have been forfeited and of no further
          force or effect.

     G.   DISPOSITION OF FORFEITED STOCK OPTIONS.  Any shares of Common Stock
          subject to Stock Options forfeited by a Participant shall not
          thereafter be eligible for purchase by Participant but may be made
          subject to Stock Options granted to other Participants.

VIII.     No Effect Upon Stockholder Rights

          Nothing in this Plan shall interfere in any way with the right of the
stockholders of the Company to remove the Participant from the Board pursuant to
the Nevada General Corporation Law and the Company's Certificate of
Incorporation and Bylaws.



                                      4



<PAGE>

IX.  No Rights as a Stockholder

          A Participant shall have no rights as a stockholder with respect to
any shares of Common Stock subject to a Stock Option.  Except as provided in
Section VI.B., no adjustment shall be made in the number of shares of Commons
Stock issued to a Participant, or in any other rights of the Participant upon
exercise of a Stock Option by reason of any dividend, distribution or other
right granted to stockholders for which the record date is prior to the date of
exercise of the Participant's Stock Option.

X.   Assignability

          No Stock Option granted under this Plan, nor any other rights acquired
by a Participant under this Plan, shall be assignable or transferable by a
Participant, other than by will or the laws of descent and distribution or
pursuant to a qualified domestic relations order as defined by the Code, Title I
of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act ("ERISA"), or the rules
thereunder.  In the event of the Participant's death, the Stock Option may be
exercised by the Personal Representative of the Participant's estate or, if no
Personal Representative has been appointed, by the successor or successors in
interest determined under the Participant's will or under the applicable laws of
descent and distribution.

XI.  Merger or Liquidation of the Company
          
          If the Company or its stockholders enter into an agreement to dispose
of all, or substantially all, of the assets or outstanding capital stock of the
Company by means of a sale or liquidation, or a merger or reorganization in
which the Company is not the surviving corporation, all Stock Options
outstanding under the Plan as of the day before the consummation of such sale,
liquidation, merger or reorganization, to the extent not exercised, shall for
all purposes under this Plan become exercisable in full as of such date even
though the dates of exercise established pursuant to Section VII.A. have not yet
occurred, unless the Board shall have prescribed other terms and conditions to
the exercise of the Stock Options, or otherwise modified the Stock Options.

XII. Amendment

          The Board may, from time to time, alter, amend, suspend or discontinue
the Plan, including where applicable, any modifications or amendments as it
shall deem advisable in order to conform to any regulation or to any change in
any law or regulation applicable thereto; provided, however, that no such action
shall adversely affect the rights and obligations with respect to Stock Options
at any time outstanding under the Plan; and provided further that no such action
shall, without the approval for the stockholders of the Company, (i) materially
increase the maximum number of shares of Common Stock that may be made subject
to Stock Options (unless necessary to effect the adjustments required by Section
VI.B.), (ii) materially increase the benefits accruing to Participants under the
Plan, or (iii) materially modify the requirements as to eligibility for
participation in the Plan.  Subject to the foregoing, the provisions of Article
V of the Plan which set forth the number of shares of Common Stock for which
Stock Options 



                                      5



<PAGE>

shall be granted, the timing of Stock Option grants and the Stock Option 
exercise price shall not be amended more than once every six (6) months other 
than to comport with changes in the Code, ERISA, or the rules thereunder.

XIII. Registration of Optioned Shares

          The Stock Options shall not be exercisable unless the purchase of such
optioned shares is pursuant to an applicable effective registration statement
under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the "Act"), or unless, in the
opinion of counsel to the Company, the proposed purchase of such optioned shares
would be exempt from the registration requirements of the Act and from the
registration or qualification requirements of applicable state securities laws.

XIV. Brokerage Arrangements

          The Committee, in its discretion, may enter into arrangements with one
or more banks, brokers or other financial institutions to facilitate the
disposition of share secured upon exercise of Stock Options including, without
limitation, arrangements for the simultaneous exercise of Stock Options and sale
of the shares acquired upon such exercise.

XV.  Nonexclusivity of the Plan

          Neither the adoption of the Plan by the Board nor the submission of
the Plan to stockholders of the Company for approval shall be construed as
creating any limitations on the power of authority of the Board to adopt such
other or additional compensation arrangements of whatever nature as the Board
may deem necessary or desirable or preclude or limit the continuation of any
other plan, practice or arrangement for the payment of compensation or fringe
benefits to Nonemployee Directors, which the Company now has lawfully put into
effect.

XVI. Effective Date
     
          This Plan was adopted by the Board of Directors and became effective
on December 24, 1995 and was approved by Company's stockholders on May 6, 1996.



                                      6






<PAGE>

                                                                     EXHIBIT 5.1

                                 [LETTERHEAD]



                                  June 5, 1996


EchoStar Communications Corporation
90 Inverness Circle East
Englewood, CO 80112

     Re:  Registration Statement on Form S-8 (the "Registration Statement")

Gentlemen:

     I am Senior Vice President, Corporate Secretary and General Counsel of
EchoStar Communications Corporation, a Nevada corporation formed in April 1995
(the "Company"), and have acted as such in connection with the authorization to
issue up to 30,000 shares of the Company's Class A Common Stock, $0.01 par value
(the "Common Shares") (subject to adjustment), upon the exercise of stock
options awarded to nonemployee directors of the Company under the 1995
Nonemployee Director Stock Option Plan (the "Plan"). I have reviewed originals,
or copies certified or otherwise identified to my satisfaction as copies of
originals, of the various proceedings taken by the Company to effect such
authorizations, and have examined such other agreements, instruments, documents
and corporate records of the Company as I have deemed necessary or appropriate
as a basis for the opinion hereinafter expressed.

     Based upon the foregoing and having regard for such legal considerations as
I deem relevant, I am of the opinion that the Common
 Shares of the Company
issuable pursuant to the Plan have been duly authorized for issuance and will be
legally issued, fully paid and non-assessable when issued as provided in the
Plan.

     I am admitted to practice only in the State of Colorado and do not purport
to be an expert on the laws of any other jurisdiction other than the laws of the
State of Colorado and Federal law.

     I consent to the filing of this opinion as an exhibit to the Registration
Statement relating to the Plan.

                                   Very truly yours,



                                   /s/ DAVID K. MOSKOWITZ
                                   ---------------------------------------
                                   David K. Moskowitz
                                   Senior Vice President, Corporate Secretary
                                   and General Counsel


DKM:es






<PAGE>

                                                              EXHIBIT 23.2








                  CONSENT OF INDEPENDENT PUBLIC ACCOUNTANTS


As independent public accountants, we hereby consent to the use of our reports 
and to all references to our Firm included in or made a part of this 
registration statement. 



                                       ARTHUR ANDERSEN LLP


Denver, Colorado,
  June 7, 1996.








<PAGE>

                                                                EXHIBIT 24



                                POWER OF ATTORNEY

     KNOW ALL PERSONS BY THESE PRESENTS, that each director and officer whose
signature appears below constitutes and appoints each of J. Allen Fears and
David K. Moskowitz, as true and lawful attorneys-in-fact and agents, in any and
all capacities to sign a Registration Statement on Form S-8 (and, if any, any
and all amendments, including pre-effective and post-effective amendments
thereto) in relation to an offering by EchoStar Communications Corporation (the
"Corporation") of up to 30,000 shares of the Corporation's Class A Common Stock
to the nonemployee directors of the Corporation pursuant to the 1995 Nonemployee
Director Stock Option Plan of the Corporation, and to file the same with all
exhibits thereto, and other documents in connection therewith with the
Securities Exchange Commission, granting unto said attorneys-in-fact and agents
full power and authority to do all such other acts and execute all such other
documents as he may deem necessary or desirable in connection with the
foregoing, as fully as if the undersigned might or could do in person, hereby
ratifying and confirming all that such attorneys-in-fact and agents may lawfully
do or cause to be done by virtue
 hereof.

     Pursuant to the requirements of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended,
this Power of Attorney has been signed by the following persons in the
capacities indicated as of June 5, 1996.

        SIGNATURE                          TITLE
        ---------                          -----

/S/ CHARLES W. ERGEN               Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and
- --------------------------         President
Charles W. Ergen                   (Principal Executive Officer)


/S/ STEVEN B. SCHAVER              Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
- --------------------------         (Principal Financial Officer)
Steven B. Schaver                  


/S/ J. ALLEN FEARS                 Vice President, Treasurer and
- --------------------------         Controller
J. Allen Fears                     (Principal Accounting Officer)


/S/ R. SCOTT ZIMMER                Director
- --------------------------
R. Scott Zimmer


/S/ JAMES DEFRANCO                 Director
- --------------------------
James DeFranco


/S/ RAYMOND L. FRIEDLOB            Director
- --------------------------
Raymond L. Friedlob


/S/ ALAN M. ANGELICH               Director
- --------------------------
Alan M. Angelich