SlingMedia, which just sold to satellite broadcasting service company EchoStar for a cool $380 million, has achieved another major deal with a pro sports league following their deal with the NHL in June, this time in a different form. Sling, best known for their devices allowing users to stream their cable box online or on their cell phones, will power the NFL’s streaming video as part of the DirecTV Superfan package. ###

Sling has historically focused on delivering TV content directly the end user wherever they want to view it, bypassing content rights holders, much to the chagrin of some, including MLB, who has threatened suit.
This new direction dealing directly with the NFL for live content legitimizes the company as a serious player in digital media whose technological strengths outweigh its potential threat.
Though the deal was never officially announced, Sports Business Journal highlighted negotiations late in August. After astute SlingCommunity members noticed the Sling logo on the DirecTV Supercast player the SlingCommunity Blog got confirmation from Dave Zatz.
There is still no official announcement from Sling, DirecTV or the NFL tough multiple sources have received confirmation. SAI quotes a Sling source as saying “It is a collaborative relationship. Nothing signed.” Gotta love those quick verbal deals.  It’s likely DirecTV wasn’t quite ready to deliver live online content so quickly and sought some outside help.

Ben Homer is a contributing writer from Online Video Watch.

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