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Q&A: Sling Media Founder Blake Krikorian

Before MSOs and programmers started hitching themselves to the TV Everywhere bandwagon, there was Sling Media Inc. , the scrappy startup that made "place-shifting" a mainstream term.

Sling eventually caught the eye of Dish Network LLC (Nasdaq: DISH) Chairman and CEO Charlie Ergen, who bought it for $380 million in 2007 and proceeded to tuck Sling into his newly spun-off tech and set-top unit, EchoStar Corp. LLC (Nasdaq: SATS). Ergen's move looks pretty shrewd now as the entire pay TV industry figures out how to make all of its linear and on-demand content available on tablets, smartphones, PCs and connected TVs. (See EchoStar to Buy Sling Media and EchoStar Ready to Split.)

Since then, Blake Krikorian, who, along with his brother Jason, founded Sling in 2004 and pioneered the TV Everywhere movement, has been relatively quiet, but he hasn't exactly been sitting idle. For example, his firm, iD8 Group Holdings, played a big role in the sale of adaptive bit rate pioneer Move Networks Inc. to Dish. (See EchoStar Buys Move Networks.)

Blake Krikorian

And he's certainly no less opinionated almost four years after selling Sling. In an interview last week with Light Reading Cable, Krikorian gave his view on the recent iPad app battles between MSOs and programmers and why he believes Sling has managed to sidestep big legal battles so far. He also explained how his vision for Sling has fallen a bit short under EchoStar's watch, and what Ergen & Co. should be doing with his baby.

Plus, the faithful San Francisco Giants fan got us up to speed on what he's up to now while serving up his hopeful prediction for how this season will shake out for the reigning World Series champs.

For more, check out the edited transcript:

Contents: — Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable



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