Media News

UPDATE 1-EchoStar says to buy Sling Media, maker of Slingbox

(Adds Sling Media details)

NEW YORK, Sept 24 (Reuters) - EchoStar Communications Corp DISH.O said on Monday that it will buy Sling Media Inc, a privately held company known for its Slingbox device that relays home television programs to laptops and cell phones.

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.

Since its launch some two years ago, big media companies have eyed Sling warily as companies attempt to forge their own Internet strategies to reach viewers wherever they spend time.

“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,” said Charlie Ergen, CEO and co-founder of EchoStar, in a statement.