Could AT&T acquire EchoStar?

Satellite TV provider EchoStar said it is buying Sling Media, maker of the highly regarded Sling Box, for $380 million, but what it said next was even more interesting to the telecom industry. The company is looking at splitting into two separately operated divisions--one including its video broadcast business and the other containing Sling Media and other technology holdings--and AT&T is rumored to be a candidate to acquire the video operation.

This isn't the first time AT&T has been touted as a possible buyer for EchoStar. But, as AT&T and other telcos push more into IPTV, can't we assume that their previous satellite TV partnerships are beginning to lose steam? It appears not, as AT&T continues to add satellite TV customers at the same time it's adding U-verse IPTV customers. Maybe AT&T can make multiple flavors of TV work.

For more:
- Check out this piece in The New York Times
-
This GigaOM posting also sizes up AT&T's potential interest

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