I caught up with Blake Krikorian at CTIA, just a few days after the official closing of EchoStar’s acquisition of Sling Media. (No, it won’t be called EchoSling or SlingStar.) (Sling Media finally owns the Sling.com domain and will be using it for new service Clip+Sling.) We talked about Sling’s approach to mobile, including providing audio-only options; the value of small-screen mobile video (especially when you’re held hostage in the Nordstrom’s shoe department); mobile broadband; issues with mobile WiFi; and, perhaps most important, efforts to work with carriers on data access.
Mobile broadband meets better displays: “It’s just riding that technology curve. We’re going to get to nirvana here pretty soon.”
Storing place-shifted video on phones: Krikorian thinks being part of EchoStar (NSDQ: SATS) will speed up its technological evolution: “It will be sooner now that we have even more technology to pull from … We’re really the same old company but we have more technology.” Pair that with line-out video like the Nokia (NYSE: NOK) N95 and micro-and-mini SD cards that have more storage for less money. “This is my DVR.”
Opening the walled garden: “The first operator who really embraces something like Sling in the U.S. is going to have a huge shot in the arm from a branding perspective but also from a loyalty perspective.”
You can stream or download the 20-minute interview here. (There’s a little interference at times; also, we were in the basement of Moscone, not Metreon as I said.)