Tag Archives | DISH Network

Dish Network Buys Itself a Bankrupt Chain of Movie Rental Stores

Satellite TV provider Dish Network wants to become satellite TV and video-rental retailer Dish Network. It announced today that its bid of $320 million ($228 million in cash) was enough to win the auction to buy Blockbuster, the venerable, ailing video chain that went bankrupt last September. Assuming that the sale goes through, Dish will get itself 1700 stores and other Blockbuster properties, such as its on-demand services for PCs, phones, and set-top boxes.

Dish’s statement was optimistic, but cautiously so:

“With its more than 1,700 store locations, a highly recognizable brand and multiple methods of delivery, Blockbuster will complement our existing video offerings while presenting cross-marketing and service extension opportunities for DISHNetwork,” said Tom Cullen, executive vice president of Sales, Marketing and Programming for DISH Network. “While Blockbuster’s business faces significant challenges, we look forward to working with its employees to re-establish Blockbuster’s brand as a leader in video entertainment.”

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Return of the Android Set-Top Box

Just a few weeks back we heard noise of Google heading into the set-top box space. With DISH Network. At the time, it wasn’t clear if this was merely a rehashing of the upcoming DISH apps or a more significant Android set-top platform play. As it turns out, it does look like Google aims to conquer the television with a dedicated offering. And why wouldn’t they take their open source platform and ad serving business to a larger screen? Following in the footsteps of Yahoo TV, Google has also partnered with Intel and is going with the generic “Google TV.” Beyond DISH, other likely launch partners include Sony and Logitech. Although no concrete functionality, timing, or pricing has been revealed. From the NY Times:

For Google, the project is a pre-emptive move to get a foothold in the living room as more consumers start exploring ways to bring Web content to their television sets. Based on Google’s Android operating system, the TV technology runs on Intel’s Atom chips. Google has built a prototype set-top box, but the technology may be incorporated directly into TVs or other devices.

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New Slingbox Goodies Coming to CES

Beyond the WiFi-only iPhone Slingbox client, neutered by Apple and AT&T, it’s been a very quiet year for Sling. No new retail products. Insignificant firmware and software updates to existing products. And fire sale SlingCatcher pricing. Combined with near radio silence, I figured EchoStar has been winding down the Sling line. However, all is not lost, as I received this CES invite earlier today which promises:

You’ll experience an up close view of Sling’s new placeshifting products including WiFi television, ultra-slim Slingboxes, and a next-generation touch screen device.

Of course, a WiFi television was shown at CES last year (pic above). Where it was pitched as a DISH Network accessory for Echostar’s yet-to-be-released “SlingLoaded” VIP 922 Echostar DVR. If I had to guess, that touchscreen device similarly accessorizes the 922 — as a Sonos-esque remote controller. I’m not entirely opposed to a slimmed-down Slingbox, but noticeably absent from this pitch is reference to a next generation Catcher… that lives up to its billing. Stay tuned, as I intend to find out more (with pics) next week in Vegas.

(This post republished from Zatz Not Funny.)

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What’s Up With Sling? Five Execs to Leave

slinglogoCalling it an exodus would be pretty accurate. Five top executives of Sling Media have decided to leave the company, seemingly triggered by the expiration of an agreement to keep the executive team there after DISH’s acquisition of the company a little over a year ago.

For all intents and purposes this leaves Sling without any executive direction, save for those higher up in DISH. It’s a shame too — I really do not see a future for Sling as a standalone product without Blake at the helm.

No doubt, within a few years Sling will only be a feature in DISH boxes. It’s already happening as the company plans to add the functionality to its DVRs in the near future.

PaidContent was first with the news, and got an interview with Blake on his decision to step away from the company. “I’m out of there now. I want to just cut it … it’s best just to get it done because it’s not easy. It’s like a break up but it’s time to get on. It’s bittersweet, for sure.”

One has to wonder what exactly was going on behind the scenes. No transition period? It’s two founders just walking out the door? Something tells me that it wasn’t on very good terms… call it a educated guess.

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