EchoStar becomes DISH, spins off most non-sat TV holdings

The company, whose primary holding its the satellite television service, will change its name and spin-off non-core businesses, an SEC filing indicates.

EchoStar was often mistakenly referred to as DISH Network anyway, so the change isn't all that surprising in that aspect. However, having just acquired Sling Media a little over a month ago, the spinoff of that division is somewhat unexpected.

The company's old name will live on through the newly spun-off company, which would house Sling as well as its set-top business among smaller interests. EchoStar Holding Co. would be run by Charlie Egren, who would also remain the CEO of DISH.

Some are speculating that the separation may make DISH a target for acquisition, although a rumored deal with AT&T seems to at least for the time being be off. Others say that the slimming down of DISH will help it to participate in the upcoming 700 MHz wireless auction, though earlier in the week, EchoStar indicated it wasn't willing to participate...at least, not by that name.

"The company's new name, DISH Network Corporation, will reflect the publicly recognized name of its subscription television service," the company said in its filing. Even with Egren leading both companies, EHC would operate as an independent company, it continued.

Thus, with the new company's set-top box business now free of DISH, it could be surmised that EchoStar would begin to sell its set-top boxes to other satellite and cable operators.

Sling Media's business strategy would likely remain unchanged, considering that prior to the merger its operations were pretty much separate from that of DISH and EchoStar's other business ventures.

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