EchoStar to buy Sling Media for $380 million

Echostar Communications, parent company of Dish Network, the satellite TV service, said yesterday they have come to an agreement to buy Sling Media, the privately-held company best known for its Slingbox device.

EchoStar, parent of the Dish Network Satellite Television service, said the deal values Sling Media at approximately $380 million, payable in cash and EchoStar options.

The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2007, EchoStar said.

The Slingbox connects cable and satellite TV set-top boxes to the Internet. As a result, cell phones and other Web-connected devices can show what's on a customer's living room TV.

According to the story, there won't be any change to the interoperability of Slingbox with other TV services, but it does make one wonder if Dish Network will have enhanced services vs. companies like Comcast or DirecTV, going forward.