As expected, EchoStar has filed with the SEC to split its business in two, reports GigaOm. The two businesses will be the Dish Network satellite TV service and its set-top box business. That set-top box business includes place-shifting Slingboxes, which Echostar acquired with its $380 million purchase of Sling Media in September.
The satellite TV business will change its name to DISH Network, and the TV technology company will be called EchoStar Holding Company. Charlie Ergen will remain CEO of both. My suggestion: Sell the satellite TV service to AT&T or some other buyer and buy TiVo (current market cap is $820 million). Then start selling combined TiVo-Slingboxes to all the cable and satellite TV companies. Make sure they all have Ethernet jacks to incorporate Internet TV services so that I can watch everything from Joost to Youtube and Hulu on my TV. That assumes Ergen can succeed in selling these boxes to cable companies, an area where TiVo has struggled. But his status as one of the old boys in the industry (remember when he was considered a maverick?), could help him win over the incumbents.