Since it has "communications" in its name, I really wish that EchoStar Communications (NASDAQ:DISH) would make more of an effort to communicate at quarterly release time.

The company did disclose its results promptly, within a day of the nation's other satellite television provider, DirecTV (NYSE:DTV). But unlike the other companies I monitor marketwide, EchoStar churns out a single page of text results, then essentially sends anyone seeking more information to its 10-Q. Sure, 10-Q reading is Foolish for anyone seeking the inside scoop on a company, but I don't think it's too much to expect a few basic tables in an earnings release.

That said, the past quarter was reasonably good for EchoStar, if a bit less robust than those for DirecTV and cable providers Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA), Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWX), and Cablevision (NYSE:CVC). At $157 million, EchoStar's net income grew by 6.8% from a year-ago $147 million. That compares to a 43% earnings jump at DirecTV; in addition, subscriber growth at the larger company roughly doubled EchoStar's 2.4% rate.

EchoStar's already embroiled in litigation with TiVo (NASDAQ:TIVO), following patent-infringement allegations by the digital video recorder company; in October, a jury ruled in TiVo's favor. In addition, EchoStar has now revealed that it's also being sued by Global Communications for alleged patent infringement relating to equipment used for satellite reception. While EchoStar says it will mount a vigorous defense against the lawsuit, it also admits that it could face substantial damages if Global prevails.

While EchoStar's shares have increased more than 55% in the past year, I nevertheless believe that the company's slowing subscriber additions and mounting legal battles could begin to take their toll, slowing the shares' upward march at the very least. I'd rather see Fools seeking a piece of the television market invest in DirecTV, Comcast, or Time Warner instead.

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Fool contributor David Lee Smith does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned. He welcomes your questions or comments. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.