EchoStar Communications announced late on Monday night that it had finalised an agreement to acquire Sling Media and its placeshifting technology. The transaction values Sling at about $380 million (€269m) for cash and EchoStar options, the company said. The deal is expected to close before the end of the year.
Sling Media is the maker of the Slingbox and SlingPlayer software that allows users to watch their living room TVs on computers anywhere with a broadband internet connection. Sling’s products are available in retails outlets in a number of countries. In Europe, the Slingbox is available in the UK and Scandinavia and UPC is planning to test the product in The Netherlands.
“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,” said Charlie Ergen, EchoStar CEO, in a prepared statement. “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.”
Ergen also said the combination of EchoStar and Sling paves the way for the development of new products and services, new digital media consumers and new strategic partners.
“We are psyched to make this announcement,” said Blake Krikorian, co-founder, chairman and CEO of Sling. “We have worked closely with EchoStar for more than two years, and have come to realise that both companies have similar entrepreneurial cultures and mutual dedication and passion for creating empowering experiences that benefit the consumer and the media industry.”