Advanced Television

Echostar to buy Slingbox, and split?

September 26, 2007

EchoStar Communications has agreed to acquire Sling Media in a deal that values the maker of the Slingbox device at $380 million (E279m). The price is payable in cash and EchoStar options.

Slingbox devices allow users to watch their home TV signals on any Internet-connected computer.”As an early investor in Sling Media, EchoStar has been pleased with the progress and commitment the company has made establishing Sling Media and the Slingbox as powerful and beloved digital media brands,” EchoStar Chief Executive Charlie Ergen said.

Sling Media CEO Blake Krikorian said the deal would help Sling Media expand. “We have worked closely with EchoStar for more than two years and have come to realize that both companies have similar entrepreneurial cultures and mutual dedication and passion for creating empowering experiences that benefit the consumer and the media industry.”

Meanwhile, EchoStar said it is considering separating into two publicly traded companies. This would involve EchoStar’s technology and infrastructure assets – including its set-top box design and manufacturing business and international operations – being spun off from the DISH Network US consumer pay-TV business. Current shareholders would have separate ownership interests in each company. EchoStar Chairman and Chief Executive Charlie Ergen would remain as chairman and CEO of DISH Network, while filling the same roles at the new business.

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