EchoStar Mulls Spinoff of Infrastructure Assets

Satellite television operator EchoStar Communications said Tuesday it was considering a spinoff of its technology and infrastructure assets into a publicly traded company separate from its consumer pay-TV business.

The company, which late on Monday said it would buy Sling Media, said that under the proposed plan, the spinoff assets would include its set-top box design and manufacturing business, its international operations, and assets used to provide fixed satellite services to third parties.

EchoStar, which competes with rival satellite TV company DirecTV and many cable TV providers, said the move would let each company to separately pursue its own deals, and allow employee incentives to be tied to their respective company's performance.

Under the plan, Charlie Ergen would continue to serve as Chairman and CEO of both DISH Network and the spun-off company.