EchoStar Communications Corp. has agreed to settle a five-plus-year insurance claim over a malfunctioning satellite that could net up to $240 million.

DENVER (AP) -- EchoStar Communications Corp. has agreed to settle a five-plus-year insurance claim over a malfunctioning satellite that could net up to $240 million.

The nation's No. 2 satellite television provider, which operates The Dish Network, said March 9 that it has reached agreement with insurance carriers representing 83% of the full amount.

EchoStar, based in suburban Englewood, Colo., filed a $219.3 million claim against numerous carriers in 1998 when one of its satellites missed its orbit after launch and failed to operate properly.

Its insurance consisted of similar policies with several carriers for varying amounts.

The carriers initially offered a combined $88 million to settle, contending that the satellite was not a loss and that EchoStar failed to comply with the terms of the policies.

EchoStar filed arbitration claims against the insurers for breach of contract and bad faith denial, among other allegations.

The companies have until April 26 to submit payment for their portions of the settlement, which consists of the initial claim and accrued interest, EchoStar said.

"While we believe the remaining insurers will each sign the agreement shortly, the arbitration will continue with respect to any insurers who decline to settle," the company said in its Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

EchoStar spokesman Steve Caulk declined comment beyond the filing, which did not specify which of the more than a dozen insurance carriers had agreed to settle.

The company previously recorded a $106 million loss on the satellite.