EchoStar Communications Corporation, the parent company of DISH Network, is changing its name to – DISH Network Corporation. Yes, the parent is taking on the name of the child, to better reflect their core business. EchoStar… I mean DISH Network, will also be spinning off some of its holdings into a new company to initially be known has the EchoStar Holding Company (EHC). EHC will basically pick up the non-DISH Network businesses formerly held by EchoStar.
EHC will have two main business units – set-top boxes (STB) and fixed satellite services (FSS). The STB business makes STBs primarily for DISH Network, of course, but they also sell STBs to other operators around the world. And, once the acquisition is complete, Sling Media will also be part of the STB business. By separating from DISH Network, any conflict of interest is reduced and the EHC should be able to expand their STB business with additional customers.
EchoStar owns or leases capacity on nine satellites, has seven digital broadcast centers, and fiber optic POPs in 150 cities. The FSS business could offer network capacity to 3rd parties, via satellite or terrestrial networks.
There have been on-again, off-again rumors that AT&T is considering acquiring DISH Network. It could make some sense, as AT&T is already partnered with DISH Network and resells the satellite TV service to their customers. AT&T could find some synergies with the U-Verse fiber offering as well. The spin-off would make it easier for AT&T, or any other party, to acquire the now standalone DISH Network satellite TV operation without dealing with the other businesses.
And, in a final step, it is anticipated that, after all of these changes shake out, EHC will also change its name – to EchoStar Communications Corporation.
So, to sum up, EchoStar is divesting itself of the business units that aren’t DISH Network, and changing its name to DISH Network. Then the divested units will change their name to EchoStar. So why not just divest DISH Network as its own company? I’m sure it makes sense, but I’m not a corporate lawyer.
You just have to love these corporate naming shenanigans.
Picked up from GigaOM.