Dish Network recently said that they have reached an agreement with the EchoStar Corp. The agreement is made consolidate its Direct Broadcast Satellite operations and assets. Dish Network said that the deal would give them end-to-end control of their OTT service. The agreement will transfer some of the EchoStar assets operations and assets to Dish.
In a statement, Dish Network said that the deal would involve the transfer of some of the assets and operations of EchoStar, which also include the EchoStar Technologies hardware and software development group, its managed fiber network that is spread across the nation, its regional and national uplink business, and its OTT development team to Dish. The transfer will be done in exchange for Dish Network’s 80% economic interest in Hughes Retail Group. Hughes Retail Group houses the satellite broadband business of Dish in the form of a tracking stock.
Dish Network will also get EchoStar’s 10% stake in Sling TV, wireless spectrum licenses that cover 4 markets in 28 GHz and some of the real estate properties. Sling TV was launched by Dish network in 2015 and currently the service has about 900,000 customers. Dish Network will continue to market their satellite broadband services under the dishNET brand to their rural users.
This deal is made eight years after Dish has split itself to two different units, EchoStar for the equipment side and Dish Network for the satellite pay TV service. Recently, EchoStar said that they would stop making standalone Slingboxes. Slingbox was the pioneer in video place shifting device and Sling Media has stopped making Slingbox devices, but they will continue selling the remaining inventory. Users who are interested in getting a Slingbox can buy one before the stocks end or get one from online outlets that still sell them.
“With this transaction we will vertically integrate all the elements that define our customer experience – one team will deliver the full Dish and Sling TV experience end to end,” Dish president Erik Carlson said in a statement. “Not only do we gain full control of product development roadmap for DBS and Sling TV but we also anticipate achieving operational efficiencies.”
It is expected that the transaction will be closed by the first quarter of 2017.