Arris, Sling Media Cut Exclusive Distribution and Tech Licensing Pact

Arris and Sling Media got a big cozier Wednesday with a deal that makes Arris the exclusive source of  Sling’s place-shifting technology in gateways and standalone devices for cable operators and telco providers.

The new distribution pact follows a deal forged in September in which Arris agreed to integrate a new sling-loaded device, called the Media Streamer 4000 (pictured above), with its MG5000 media gateway.

In addition to giving Arris exclusive distribution with its extensive list of pay-TV operator customers, the new deal should give Sling Media, which is linked to cable competitor Charlie Ergen, a  smoother path to the U.S. cable market.

Financial terms were not disclosed, but the new deal covers the distribution of standalone devices, including the new MS4000 and the ability to integrate Sling’s technology into Arris video gateways. As a key additional component, the accord also gives Arris the ability to license Sling technology to third-party manufacturers.

Arris said its “phased rollout” of Sling Media technology starts with the launch of the MS4000 in early 2014, to be followed by the video gateway and multivendor licensing components.

"Our exclusive agreement with Sling Media further solidifies our position as the leading provider of transcoding solutions for the future of multiscreen...everywhere," John Burke, SVP corporate strategy & development, and president of Arris’s cloud solutions business,  said in a statement. "We selected Sling Media for their complementary expertise in placeshifting technology. This collaboration rounds out our broad multiscreen portfolio in the cloud, network, and home to give global providers a variety of ways to let consumers enjoy their media, their way."

"We are very pleased to announce this agreement with ARRIS -- which will enable our two companies to closely collaborate on a range of integrated and standalone video solutions that deliver HD-quality content across multiple mobile devices, accessible anywhere, added Michael Hawkey, VP and GM of Sling Media.