I learned from Dave Zatz that Echostar Communications Company, the company know for its Dish Network Satellite TV will acquire Sling Media for approximately $380 Million. Sling Media is the maker of the Slingbox and Slingplayer which allow you to placeshift your TV programming from your home across the internet to allow you to view that content anywhere there is an internet connection.
Any time an innovative company like Sling Media is purchased by a larger media/distribution company there are concerns about the future path of that innovative company and this will be no exception. Still Blake Krikorian, the CEO of Sling Media said this in an interview with the Paid Content weblog:
“We expect very little change to our business except that we have even deeper pockets, and access to other core technologies.”
Here's what he said regarding why they are selling to Echostar:
“With EchoStar, we’d gotten to know them, to know Charlie. Charlie is one of the real pioneers. He’s a guy who helped build an entire industry, he’s a founder, he’s an entrepreneur. Clearly, there’s a lot I can learn from him. He understands us ... He knows what it’s like to be this passionate about what you do. I’m very confident that the position we’re being put in here, the opportunity being provided us is one that will only accelerate what we’re building.”
Should be interesting to watch. Its interesting that Echostar is interested in Sling Media and will be even more interesting to see what they plan to do with Sling Media.
Echostar also announced that they were considering a spin-off of their technology and infrastructure assets from the Dish Network U.S. consumer business. This would leave the pay-tv Dish Network in the existing company and the remainder of the assets, presumably including Sling Media's in a separate spin-off.