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Echostar To Buy Sling Media

Sling Media is being acquired by EchoStar Communications for $380 million. Echostar owns Dish Satellite Network. Sling Media developed the Slingbox and Slingplayer, which allow users to watch their home TV set from anyplace equipped with a fast internet connection.

Sling products are currently sold at 5,000 retail stores in 11 countries. Last year Sling formed the Sling Media Entertainment Group to develop content and entertainment experiences for Slingbox users.

“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 Charlie Ergen, CEO and co-founder of EchoStar.

“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,” said Blake Krikorian, the co-founder, chairman and CEO of Sling Media. “By combining strategies, resources and technologies with EchoStar, Sling Media will be able to rapidly expand our open multiplatform product offerings, not only for DISH Network subscribers, but for digital media enthusiasts around the globe."

Echostar was an early investor in Sling Media. The acquisition is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year. It includes a mix of cash and EchoStar options.

Following the Sling announcement, Echostar said it is considering separating its business into two publicly traded companies. One would be its Dish Network, the other would include its technology assets, including—presumably—Sling.