Name: Charlie Ergen
Title: Founder/CEO, EchoStar

 

Why Him? We hadn’t heard much out of Charlie lately and then, wham… He announces a deal for EchoStar to buy Sling Media—one of the most controversial but exceedingly cool technologies to hit the marketplace in recent years (Ergen was just ranked the richest Coloradoan with more than $10bln in net worth, so he could afford to buy a Slingbox for every household in America. Not saying he would do it. Just something to think about). In any event, that $380mln acquisition raises a lot of issues for programmers (especially those with location-sensitive sports content) as well as competitive issues for cable operators. Will Slingboxes continue to use “skins” that depict the MSO’s remote control or, as would seem more likely, adopt some kind of EchoStar-branded look? Who knows, but the world just got more interesting. And with 13.7mln subs and counting—not to mention a 13% increase in 3Q total revenue, Ergen remains a competitive force with new tricks always up his sleeve.  MG


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