EchoStar makes one move, contemplates another


Satellite MVPD EchoStar, owner and operator of the Dish Network, has picked up Sling Media, known primarily as the maker of Slingbox, which allows consumers to access their own living room television set from anywhere in the world where there is internet access. The price is 380M in cash and EchoStar options. "With today’s increasingly mobile lifestyle, EchoStar’s acquisition of Sling Media will allow us to offer innovative and convenient ways for our customers to enjoy their programming on more displays and locations, including TVs, computers and mobile phones, both inside and outside of the home," said EchoStar’s Charlie Ergen. "This combination paves the way for the development of a host of new innovative products and services for our subscribers, new digital media consumers and strategic partners." The company is also considering a split into two separate entities, with The Dish Network becoming a standalone entertainment provider while satellite and technical infrastructure businesses would be spun off. Ergen said the move would allow each segment of the business to better pursue their separate strategies. The company is said to be exploring tax implications of such a move.