updated 03:15 pm EST, Fri December 7, 2007
EchoStar DISH and Sling
EchoStar has formally split up in a way that could impact the future of Sling Media's Slingbox devices, based on details of an SEC filing. The company has formally changed its name to DISH Network. The change reflects the former EchoStar's core businesses of satellite TV service and producing its own set-top boxes, according to the update. Part of the company, now called Echostar Holdings, will break away from DISH and carries Sling Media with it. The Slingbox maker was bought by EchoStar in September and was originally believed to be used for adding Internet-based remote viewing for DISH subscribers.
The split will let Sling pitch its hardware to a "broader group" of customers, many of whom have reportedly been scared away by its connection with DISH and the perceived bias against other TV services, Sling says. The company has always maintained that it would not ship Slingboxes and other devices solely for DISH and has recently been spotted developing a cable modem/Slingbox hybrid.
The move also frees DISH to bid for 700MHz airspace in the same FCC auction as Google and other major technology firms, though DISH is expected to use any space it gets for Internet-connected TV rather than a pure data service. [via GigaOM]