DISH Sets Stage For Internet TV With Disney Deal

While DISH may have acquiesced on the ad skipping front, in return they have inked one of the very first deals to offer “live” programming via the Internet:

The extensive and expanded distribution agreement grants DISH rights to stream cleared linear and video-on-demand content from the ABC-owned broadcast stations, ABC Family, Disney Channel, ESPN and ESPN2, as part of an Internet delivered, IP-based multichannel offering.

Of course there’s no telling when DISH might launch a web television service and certainly others (Verizon, Sony) are pursuing similar. But this represents the first time a major content provider has indicated publicly that they’re willing to play ball. So the sea change begins.

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  • Of course the flip side is that most broadband providers are also cable companies... and something about Netflix Comcast peering. Also will the broadcast affiliates feature some sort of geographic restrictions, like Aereo (but legal ;) ). Complex yet exciting times!

  • All good questions. So far Dish only has the agreement with ABC/Disney for their channels, though of course this includes the big dog ESPN. So can they get the same agreement with NBC, Fox and CBS? NBC seems unlikely given that they're owned by Comcast. Course don't they have that whole 'have to agree to sell their channels to all comers thing' due to the NBC acquisition concessions? I would think getting these agreements done would be tough, but Dish somehow got ABC done, so maybe?

    Of course so far this is all just strictly theoretical. Seems like a bunch of time is going to go buy to get the deals done and then Dish has to actually roll the service out for this to matter at all...

    I presume part of the reason they need to keep the channel list small is to deal with caps. They need their initial consumers to only get a certain number of hours a month of use out of their service or they'll blow the internet caps at Comcast/Time Warner Cable/AT&T whatever. Or of course suffer anti-net-neutrality peering/throttling/degrading of service by many ISPs.

    Could make for interesting times.

  • I know I've said this before but I don't like this TV over IP (may not be the right phrase) stuff. I want to be able to do what I want with the programming I pay for and I fear that these kinds of services are the beginning of the end to the way we watch content currently with DVRs. I think they're going to put all kinds of restrictions on how and when we can watch the content we've recorded ad free.

    Currently, I don't watch anything live. Even sports I typically watch with some delay for at least part of the game. The Super Bowl is probably the only thing I watch live. I don't care how excited I am for the show, I don't watch it live. While I watched the last episode of Breaking Bad the same night it aired, I watched it about 2 hours later. Thankfully there are enough people in this country who do watch live to still support the TV ad generated revenue system. I really fear that if they start using TV over IP and everything is streaming, we're all of sudden going to have ads and commercials embedded in the stream like with Hulu.

    I hope I'm completely wrong but I fear I'm not.

Published by
Dave Zatz