Two US media mammoths, satellite broadcaster EchoStar and Liberty Media, are jointly investing in a closely-held Silicon Valley startup Sling Media.

Sling is a small company with a big new product - a slim, silver-finished device branded Slingbox which will retail at around $250 (€206; £140) and connect to a computer to allow TV viewing away from home.

The media duo - whose respective media platforms are likely to play key roles in Sling's development - are among a pack of other high profile investors, among them Goldman Sachs and Allen & Co, Hearst Corporation, DCM-Doll Capital Management and Mobius Venture Capital.

Many big media owners are eager to strike new types of content-delivery deals, according to Richard Doherty, a director at market researcher Envisioneering. "They can't afford to ignore the revenue that Disney, Universal and others are generating from [Apple Computer's] iTunes," he judges.

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff