by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
place shifting

echostar, sling media

Is An EchoStar Purchase Good Or Bad For Sling Media?

from the might-scare-off-others dept

Late Monday, the news came out that EchoStar was buying Sling Media for $380 million in cash and stock. It's not surprising that Sling would go for such a deal, but it's a pretty wide open question as to whether or not this move will hurt Sling's prospects. EchoStar had already been an early investors in Sling, but in buying the entire company outright, it might make it that much harder for Sling to work with other providers, who might not want to be seen supporting the "competition." Also, since Sling isn't EchoStar's main business, if the company comes on hard times, it may not devote enough resources to keeping Sling moving forward. Finally, there were already plenty of companies who were upset about how the Slingbox enables placeshifting. There have been occasional threats of lawsuits from organizations like HBO and Major League Baseball. While Sling has pretty strong defenses for why the Slingbox is legal, now that there's a big company with a lot of money behind it, it becomes a much more attractive lawsuit target. In fact, it wouldn't be surprising to see lawsuits start to fly against Sling and EchoStar rather rapidly. All in all, it makes you wonder if Sling Media is actually worth a lot less as a part of EchoStar than independent. That doesn't mean it's a bad deal for the folks at Sling, who have a great opportunity to cash out -- but it could potentially slow down the innovation coming out of the company.

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  • identicon
    chris Falco, 25 Sep 2007 @ 2:34am


    as a slingbox user (2 boxes) love em, this is kinda scary.
    however, I like the idea of slingbox ability being added to additional hardware. however, I hate the idea of a company that is usually dependent on monthly fees buying a company that sells hardware without service requirements.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Davis Freeberg, 25 Sep 2007 @ 8:02am

    Not an "attractive" lawsuit

    Yes Dish has deep pockets, but anyone familiar with Dish's history knows that Charlie Ergen is crazy when it comes to lawsuit. Probably one of the few deep pockets that will take something all the way to the supreme court, even when it cheaper to settle. When TV Guide tried to sue them over patent violations related to their guide, Ergen ended up with a piece of their company. If Sling was going to be sued, it would have been before they had money. The studios would be more interested in shutting this down then trying to win damages.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    RandomThoughts, 25 Sep 2007 @ 8:20am

    Sling does have some legal issues. It is possible to multi-cast via the web with some easy internet downloads using the Slingbox.

    That being said, I still don't see how mobile slingbox just doesn't take out wireless carriers towers. You get 4 or 5 people watching video off of one tower and it would take it down.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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