EchoStar (Dish Network) Buys Sling Media

EchoStar Communications announced that they have agreed to acquire Sling Media, Inc., makers of the Slingbox and SlingPlayer, for $380 million, payble in cash and EchoStar options. Sling will became a full part of EchoStar in the 4th quarter of 2007.

It will be interesting to see how DISH integrates Sling’s hardware and software offerings into their existing lineups. While DISH already offers DVR capabilities (time-shifting) in their products, they don’t offer the place-shifting functions that Sling brings to the table. Hopefully, this will not mean that they work place-shifting out of the market, as Sling has really done a bang-up job in bringing the first generation of such devices to the market.