& cplSiteName &

EchoStar Blazing Way to Tru2way

Jeff Baumgartner

5:30 PM -- It may have taken some serious arm-twisting to get long-time cable foe Charlie Ergen to sign the tru2way agreement, but it appears that EchoStar Technologies LLC, the Dish Network LLC (Nasdaq: DISH) technology spinoff, is serious about selling set-top boxes to cable operators. (See EchoStar Inks Tru2way Accord .)

That much was clear here in Denver at the "Cable Days" events, which included the Cable Hall of Fame gala Thursday night and a string of industry sessions this morning. EchoStar and Sling Media Inc. , which EchoStar snapped up last year, not only entered the cable lion's den this week, but sponsored the events, too. (See 'Business as Usual' for Sling Media and EchoStar Unit Unveils SlingModem.) So no one can say it's not putting its money where it's mouth is.

"We do believe we have a lot to offer" to cable operators, EchoStar president Mark Jackson said Friday morning at a session centered on the impact of new technologies.

But how does EchoStar expect to differentiate itself and offer cable MSOs some boxes they would be willing to buy from a company that has some corporate ties to one of cable's fiercest competitors?

Jackson didn't go into excruciating detail, but said EchoStar is looking to integrate some of Sling's place-shifting functionality and add some "unique" user interface features that are under development. On top of that, EchoStar is trying to build in some services that will generate recurring revenues for the vendor and its cable partners.

Jackson acknowledged that EchoStar's cable foray won't be an easy one and that the company will not only have to prove itself with cool, new products, but will also have to earn the trust of the cable industry. Likewise, he indicated EchoStar might have an easier go of it in Europe, where it won't face the same potential barriers that it might face here in the U.S.

EchoStar spokesman Mark Lumpkin noted that the company expects to have tru2way boxes available for MSO testing sometime in the first half of 2009.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
More Blogs from The Bauminator
As the traditional pay-TV biz suffers and the direct-to-consumer OTT video market rises, You.i TV has found its niche as companies on all sides seek ways to simplify the path to a wide array of screens.
Meanwhile, Android TV trails the pack at retail, but continues to make strides with cable ops and other service providers worldwide.
Price hike by PlayStation Vue and new packaging options from Sling TV are more indicators that virtual MVPDs need to adjust to become sustainable businesses.
DOCSIS has taken a few twists and turns over the past 20 years as it heads toward a next-generation of specs that support Full Duplex DOCSIS, low-latency DOCSIS and Extended Spectrum DOCSIS capabilities.
Unlike Aereo, Locast has found a way to stream local TV channels without raising the legal hackles of powerful broadcasters. But can it drive enough donation dollars to survive for the long haul?
Featured Video
Flash Poll
Upcoming Live Events
September 17-19, 2019, Dallas, Texas
October 1-2, 2019, New Orleans, Louisiana
October 10, 2019, New York, New York
October 22, 2019, Los Angeles, CA
November 5, 2019, London, England
November 7, 2019, London, UK
December 3, 2019, New York, New York
December 3-5, 2019, Vienna, Austria
March 16-18, 2020, Embassy Suites, Denver, Colorado
May 18-20, 2020, Irving Convention Center, Dallas, TX
All Upcoming Live Events